No artwork should ever be shipped out or put in storage without an accurate condition report. This document establishes the item’s condition on departure and is very important for both the art shipper and the owner of the art piece. Moreover, it is a must-have if you want the artwork to be properly insured and thus avoid potentially high and unwanted restoration and/or other costs. Now let’s look at the importance of the art condition report more closely.
The Importance of an Art Condition Report
If you are an artwork owner, you need a condition report for a simple reason. If your art piece is damaged in transit, while in storage, or while on loan, this document is the only means you have to prove that the damage you are claiming was not pre-existing but the result of the accident. Professional art shippers, on the other hand, need an art condition report to prove that the artwork was already damaged before being packed and shipped out. Besides, for us, as a fully insured and licensed art logistics company, such a report is a requirement of our insurance contract, according to which our art insurance does not cover any pre-existing damage. For this reason, at Fine Art Shippers, we always complete the condition report before packing and shipping any piece of art, take photos of the item, and reconfirm all of the details with the client.
An art condition report is also very important for art collectors wishing to buy an old painting. Even if the artwork might seem like it is in perfect condition, they still need a condition report because appearances are deceiving, and not all types of damage are obvious to the casual observer. The painting may be completely repainted or have been stripped of the varnish, which is likely to greatly reduce its value. To protect themselves and their investment, collectors do need a proper condition report drawn up by a professional art appraiser or conservator. After all, complete knowledge of the artwork’s past is a vital part of collecting fine art.