How Does a Museum Crate Protect Your Artwork?

How Does a Museum Crate Work?

When people hear of crates, they often imagine slatted wooden cases used for transporting bananas, tomatoes, or any other type of goods. In the world of art, though, a crate has a broader meaning. You can still ship bananas and tomatoes in them, but only if they are painted on canvas or make part of a sculpture. In the kingdom of crates, the crown belongs to a museum crate, the premium-quality shipping container with the added security of reinforced construction. Let’s see why they are so valued and how they protect works of art.

What Makes a Museum Crate Different from a Standard Crate?

Among all types of crates, a museum crate is undoubtedly the best option and is often compared to standard art crates. The difference between them is in the level of protection and additional features such as construction with an exterior sealant and an advanced closure system. All of these take museum-quality crates to the next level of safety. And thus is their main purpose: to transport artworks of utmost importance and value, such as paintings by Old Masters or contemporary big-name artists.

How Are Museum Crates Made?

Unlike standard shipping boxes, museum crates cannot be constructed and assembled by amateurs and enthusiasts. If you are still curious about creating a shipping container without professional help, we recommend checking our post on how to crate art at home.

A museum crate consists of three layers. The first one, a wooden shell, protects the entire package from mechanical damage such as a blow, hit, or bump. After that, there goes the second level that serves as a pillow for a painting. Carpenters usually use foam materials (polyurethane, styrofoam) to create the perfect surrounding for a painting. The crate is then completed with the third – and the most important – layer of construction. The inner part is made of chemically neutral water- and fireproof materials. And voilà: the crate is ready!

So Do You Need It?

Despite all the benefits of a museum crate, it is not the best choice in any situation. The deal-breaker here is the cost of the container, which is significantly higher than the cost of standard one-way crates. We recommend using them only when you deal with original blue-chip art that costs an arm and a leg. Otherwise, your shipping budget will always be tremendously high. Always think twice before breaking the bank!