Sometimes, or maybe most of the time, we purchase art, find a place to display it, then forget about it. We don’t always think about “fall or spring cleaning” these valuable and precious pieces, but a little attention will go a long way to insure their longevity and appearance.

Regarding paintings. Hopefully your paintings, in any media, are not hanging in direct sunlight. Sunlight may fade watercolors, drawings, textiles and ink, and may also yellow the white areas of the paper. Heat from the sun (or other sources like heat vents) can compromise the integrity of the paints. Changes in heat and humidity can cause paper to buckle and stretch and once this happens, the damage could be Red6permanent. So maintenance tip #1: Be sure you art is placed in a neutral climate zone of your home; out of direct sunlight, and away from heat and moisture sources. The only exception to this might be glass, pottery and some metal. Always ask about the best way to display your art when you purchase your piece.

Once that’s resolved, the rest is easy. Dust you artwork every now and then using a dry, soft cloth. Never use chemical dusting agents. If there are relief surfaces that a dust cloth can’t reach, try a clean, soft artist brush in a size suitable for the piece. Using a brush is also great for pottery, carvings, basketry, impasto paintings—anything with a textured surface. Sometimes a brush won’t do, so a hair dryer can be a good option. Be sure to use a cool setting. A hair dryer is a great tool for “dusting” textiles and natural fiber. Aim the dryer from behind to blow the dust out of the piece.

Framed art should be taken off the wall periodically and the back dusted. You would be amazed at 6744.31348the cobwebs that can make a home behind wall art.

Glass and ceramics might possibly be rinsed with water, but be sure to line the sink with something protective in case you lose your grasp. Some basket and wicker work should be wet occasionally as part of its routine care.

Should you polish metal art? That depends. If unsure only use one of the methods above or call the gallery where your piece was purchased to find out. Many metals develop a patina over time, which is often desirable. For bronze care, see our article, Taking Care of Your Bronze Sculpture.

Your art is a treasure and investment that you will want to enjoy for years to come. Consider the care and keeping of your art a gesture of love!

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