When you are travelling with art whether it is your own or purchased requires proper packaging to avoid damage during transit. Packaging methods vary based on the art medium and the delicacy of this piece. Determine the safest way of traveling with the artwork and verify all of regulations, penalties and protection strategies available before selecting a travel approach.
Air Travel Factors
You may have the ability to bring smaller pieces of artwork on as extra carry-on. Package the artwork in a cushioned box or bag safely so it does not bend or crease. It also may be a good idea to check with the airline a few weeks before flying to guarantee the packed artwork meets carry-on conditions and the plane has the capacity to stow the artwork safely. Most airlines allow you to travel with crated art on your checked luggage. Sometimes extra baggage fees may apply if you have more than one item, particularly for oversize or heavy items. Multimedia pieces should also fit into safety guidelines and can’t include any substances on the Transportation Security Administration prohibited-items list.
Art Handling Services
For larger, valuable or breakable art, consider sending it to your destination through an artwork handling service. These services have trained staff who use equipment such as art crates to correctly package and transport the artwork safely, whether to a house, gallery or museum. Normal shipping companies may also offer artwork-shipping solutions, although they might not be as proficient at the right handling of the art. Art handling services are typically more costly than general shipping businesses, but may also be worth it in the long run if your artwork means a lot to you. Even though you may want to take the cheaper option out by traveling with the art yourself, do not forget that your precious pieces may be damaged along the way. If you are transporting museum artwork, these companies will use museum crates to safely transport your items.
Packaging needs vary depending on the different types of artwork you are travelling with and the different sizes. Generally speaking, a plywood crate works well for big canvases and three-dimensional functions, like statues. A shipping crate custom-sized into the art ensures it does not move or change during transit. Use only archival, acid-free packaging paper and materials, because substances containing acid can lead to degradation of the art. Bubble wrap, foam packaging inserts and packaging tissue should fill all open spaces inside the packing crate so the artwork cannot move around when travelling at high speeds. These substances provide protection and cushioning so the art doesn’t change during travel, and so your artwork arrives safely and intact when you arrive at your destination.
Whether you ship your artwork via professional art moving specialists, or you take it with you via airplane, car or train, it is a good idea to properly insure the artwork. The methods for insuring depend on the travel method, and different countries and conditions you may visit along the way. Even though it may be a little on the expensive side, purchasing travel insurance is necessary if you are traveling with the art. For shipped art, the delivery company likely provides supplies or insurance an insurance option. Take pictures of the art so that you can document any damage, which may occur after you insure your artwork so you can claim any damages and have reasonable proof.