The Importance Of Documenting Your Art Collection
As you develop your art collection, some form of documentation of the art may be necessary to ensure that you can keep good track of all of your artworks and the condition they are in. This can be particularly useful if you wish to prove an artworks authenticity or need to make an insurance claim on your art.
Cataloguing Your Art CollectionThere is no single correct way of cataloguing your art collection, and all that really matters is that your system is coherent and can be easily understood by everyone involved in using and updating it. When cataloguing art you may wish to cover the following things:
- Authorship of the artwork. In all probability you will categorise your art works in alphabetical order according to the surname of the artist that produced the work. This may link to a documentation of the authenticity of the art, especially important with well known artists who may have been faked.
- Dates of the artwork. You will then probably categorise works by the same artist chronologically from the oldest to the newest piece of art.
- Medium. A detailed description of the art medium is important from both an art-historical and a conservation point of view.
- Condition. A simple overview of the condition of the artwork will do here; with a more detailed condition report held separately (see below).
- Insurance value and details. A brief overview of Insurance valuation and details of the art collection can be useful for an 'at a glance' survey.
Remember, computers are not fool proof and can crash, sometimes permanently, so it is essential to keep a regularly updated hard copy of the documentation on your art(perhaps just a print out of your computer catalogue).
Finally, ensure that you have everything well backed up. It is no good keeping your computer hard drive, paper documents on your art and artworks all on one site with no supporting documentation held elsewhere. A fire could leave you losing the entire lot.
Condition Report On Your ArtIf other people will be involved in handling your artworks, regularly updated information on their condition will enable you to attribute liability for damage to the correct person, should damage occur.
It is important to check your existing condition report before the movement or restoration of an artwork. This way you will ensure that the work actually tallies with the existing report, before checking the work again after it has been moved/handled/restored, and noting any changes to its condition.
A condition report may contain several categories such as: Immaculate, Very Good, Good, Fair, Poor, Very Poor, etc, with a space in each category to mark specific features and damage. You may also wish to mark the condition of the frame.