Do you have a collection of vintage photographs? Specialty art insurer cautions against prolonged light exposure on valuable photographic collections during Art Basel 2011.
Art collectors have always been interested in fine art photography, especially with the work of popular photographers. However, AXA Art, a company dedicated to specialty art and collectibles insurance, reminds collectors that the medium is fragile in nature and there should be measures done to preserve such valuable photographs.
As part of the Art Basel 2011, AXA Art recently conducted a presentation entitled “Fading Away at Art Basel 2011” which tackled the preservation problems unique to photographs. Prolonged exposure to light is one such problem, identified by the specialist art insurer as “the most destructive risk to this art form”. To demonstrate this, AXA has an Art Lounge in the VIP section of the art fair showing examples of how overexposure to light affects the quality and longevity of photographs.
AXA Art has also been collaborating with Le Centre de Recherché sur la Conservation des collections (CRCC) to find the best conditions and methods for preserving and protecting photographic art collections. The goal of the collaboration is to create and introduce a device which detects the amount of light that falls on a photograph while on display and indicates overexposure.
The said device may be particularly directed towards museums and individuals with large collections, but for those who want to preserve their own collections, art experts and archivists suggest:
1. Storing photographs, negatives, and slides in acid-free storage containers
2. Professional framing using high quality archival materials
3. Keeping a digital archive
4. Displaying duplicates on photo albums or frames instead of the original ones
Art Basel 2011, the world’s biggest contemporary art fair, runs from June 15 to 19, 2011 in Basel, Switzerland. It features paintings, sculptures, drawings, photographs, installations, and other artworks from leading galleries across the globe.
Sources and additional readings:
Fading Away at Art Basel 2011 on Artfix Daily
Preserving Vintage Photographs on American Indian Artwork