Professional Art Handling

Striving to ensure a perfect transfer, for one piece of art or for an entire collection; this has been a goal at Terry Dowd, Inc. since 1978. Whether we’re transporting, installing or storing the artwork, an absolute sensitivity is maintained for each and every piece. In the world of art transportation one would hope this is commonplace; caveat emptor – buyer beware.

Artwork, artifacts and antiques are all precious by nature and many are simply irreplaceable. When entertaining the thought of using somebody else to handle your valuables, you need to make sure you’ve done your homework.

How long has the firm been in existence?
Experience is a key. You want to make sure it’s not a fly by night operation and that they’ve had success in handling the type of job you’re looking to accomplish. The last thing you want to do is hand your precious objects over to someone who doesn’t know how to handle them.

Does the firm have a packing strategy?
Informed packing decisions depend on multiple factors: the object structure, the risks to be mitigated, the type of shipping method employed or the length of storage. Should crating be required, the crate should be designed from the inside out, starting with support required for fragile media and forms, followed by cushioning dictated by the object itself. Crating effectively is a science of its own and the firm you choose should understand its importance.

Does the firm use museum quality, archival packing materials?
In many cases, the packing will only be as good as the materials used. It’s extremely important to pack an object with the correct type of packing materials, but if lower grade materials are being used, abrasion could defeat the purpose of a nicely packed piece.

Does the firm instill confidence?
Your contact at the company should be knowledgeable, reassuring and caring. Project management is the real difference in a job going smoothly or not and it all starts with the initial conversation. You should be asked many questions as to the parameters of the job: piece description, piece dimensions, piece count, working conditions, wall surfaces, shipping destinations, building requirements and of course your major concerns. A good company will ask to set up a site visit for more complex jobs and scenarios.

You never want to leave moving your valuables to chance; informed decisions are the basis for any success. Terry Dowd, Inc. has established itself as the standard in fine art service by providing all the experience, knowledge and confidence to get the job done. Terry Dowd, Inc. is proud to be the official art handler for the members of Conservation & Design International.

Chris Maravich, Terry Dowd, Inc.

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