Safely transporting your artwork

transporting artworks box

It’s easy and oh so important to protect your artwork while transporting it. As I roll out the “curbside service” practices for studio photography at The Scientific Photographer, it seems important to stress the best practices for transporting art, antique and other valuable objects.

For flat art objects, consider getting an adjustable box, often referred to as a “TV” or “mirror” moving box. These flat boxes are two-piece boxes that slide together (telescope) to accommodate different size objects. Consider placing these into your vehicle laying flat.

Separate the two sections of the box and load one flat object (art side up) into the box half, so one box can be split to hold two artworks (with the end open for conveniently sliding art in and out). Stack the boxes lying flat in your vehicle. Since the boxes are strong and the object rides face-up inside, you can stack several pieces in your vehicle. When laid flat, even a wet painting sits in the bottom of the box with nothing touching the surface. If objects may slide out of the open end of the box, place tape or rope over the open end to prevent artwork from sliding out. (Be sure no adhesive faces the artwork.)

transporting artworks box The Lowe’s adjustable box is about 6 inches deep and a minimum of 41 x 36 inches. It can be expanded to 41 x 70 inches and costs about $25. Home Depot has a smaller version that is 5.5 by 24 inches and telescopes from 24 to 36 inches, and costs around $17. Other suppliers are also available.

transporting artworks box

By separating the two sections of the telescoping boxes, you get two for the price of one. This is an inexpensive yet very secure means of transporting flat art. If your artwork is typically less than 28 x 20”, check out Uline for non-telescoping, single section flat boxes at about $5.50 each.

For dimensional objects, consider using newsprint wadded up for padding inside an appropriately sized box as a simple, inexpensive solution. If you are looking for quality packaging for long-term archival storage, check out University Products. Although these products are expensive, they protect art and historic objects during long-term storage and are worth the investment.

As always, please handle your artwork and collection objects carefully during packing and transport. It is always good to use nitrile gloves to handle the objects, or at least minimize touching the objects. Secure everything in your vehicle so that unexpected sudden stops will not lead to damage. Ensure that there are no loose objects that can roll or fall onto the artwork. Many oil paintings take years to dry, so handle everything as if it could be damaged or damage your vehicle (unless you want the iconically spattered artist’s vehicle).

– Scott

I would be happy to discuss your needs with you and provide a written quote for any project.
Please give me a call at 805-689-8748 – I am always happy to chat about your imaging needs.

Email Scott

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Studio Location (by appointment only)
1996 Eastman Ave, Studio 111
Ventura, CA 93003