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Save Your Stuff Blog

Posts Tagged ‘damaged art’

Trashed Russian Old Masterpiece Saved

Saturday, July 31st, 2010

This painting has a great story I’m sure you’ll find interesting, even in its abbreviated form:

Painted in 1903, a Russian artist from St. Petersburg sent this painting to America to be exhibited in 1904 at the St. Louis International Exhibition to celebrate the Louisiana Purchase. An art dealer gathered paintings from his country’s best artists to expose their artwork to American buyers but once the paintings were in the United States complications arose. The paintings were shown but the dealer refused to past the custom’s duties. So, after the expo, the paintings were held in limbo for a number of years until they were auctioned off, by Presidential decree. This painting ended up at the De Young Museum, then the Oakland Museum of Art and then to several high end collectors, until it landed unceremoniously buried in stuff in a warehouse sometime in the 1960’s we assume.

Recently, the painting was unceremoniously designated to be discarded until a sharp-eyed collector saved it from the dumpster. What probably happened was that after a small rip had been repaired poorly, then another, and another… finally, the damage and the dirty surface made it fit for “long term storage” where it was forgotten… until someone started to clear things out.

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Earthquake in China – Prepare Your Home and Workplace- 4 Tips

Wednesday, April 14th, 2010

The reports from China about the massive earthquake once again remind us of the every increasing activity that puts our homes and businesses at risk. You realize, of course, that with an earthquake you also have broken pipes, water damage and mold. For those of you NOT in earthquake country, think again! A hurricane or tornado rattles and shakes you up in the same way.

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Hanging nail gives away – $25,000.00 painting ripped.

Wednesday, March 10th, 2010

Look at this rip! Want to see some magic?!


This rip, on the left, was kind-a ugly: It ripped when the nail gave way and it fell off the wall… and got uglier when the fibers frayed.

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Water damage – mold – historic preservation – murals – artwork

Tuesday, March 2nd, 2010

I was asked to consult on a renovation project of a historical building. The reason I was brought in was because there were difficult problems with murals. While this may seem not so relative to your situation… read on.

First of all, here’s what happened (that could happen to your home or office): The roof leaked and water infiltrated into the structure, into the walls. The roof leak wasn’t dealt with quick enough or completely enough cause someone was trying to save money and not be inconvenienced.

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When you store or ship a painting, should you roll it up? 3 reasons to…

Monday, February 1st, 2010

Well, I guess the beginning photo tells you why its not good to roll up paintings, new or old! It puts stress on the paint layers and they don’t like it.

A Russian Portrait from about 1900.

A Russian Portrait from about 1900.

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What Dirty Stuff Is On My Artwork?! – 3 Tips of what NOT to do!

Saturday, January 30th, 2010
During Cleaning/Removal of Grime and Yellowed Varnish.

During Cleaning/Removal of Grime and Yellowed Varnish.

A question I often get asked, “How do I clean my___________? My answer is a LONG list of sad stories of cleaning lady’s “gentile” or “light” cleaning techniques and dealers trying to save a buck. And yesterday, I got another such story to tell you:

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What Is The Best Temperature For Artwork? – 3 Tips To Protect

Friday, January 29th, 2010

I’m asked all the time something along the lines of  “What is the best temperature for my artwork?” or “What temperature should my house be?” or “What environment is best for my collection?”  Well, its not a one word answer. The answer is kind of long, actually, but I think you’ll find the answer and the photos  interesting.

What materials are you worried about protecting? A wood sculpture, an oil painting, a watercolor, glassware, a plastic toy collection, photographs, leather book bindings? Each material reacts to it environment a little different but by and large the answer to this question is, thankfully, not a single number temperature (that would be hard… and expensive… to try and maintain!). Its a range. My detailed answer to this question would be different for someone in Florida than Wyoming, or for someone living in Puerto Rico or Utah. But in general, what your items need, much like all of us, is stability.

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Heart Breaking Damage. Learn how to pack it or get help.

Wednesday, January 27th, 2010


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Do You Pack/Ship Art Work and Fragile Items?

Tuesday, January 26th, 2010

One of the most frequent and easiest ways to have your stuff damaged: handling, storage and transport.

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$25,000 fell off the wall!

Monday, January 25th, 2010


Even if you think you have a strong enough wire on the back, the eye hook that attaches the wire to the frame could pull out if the screw hole has been used over and over. Even if you have the artwork’s hanging hardware looking good, you might have it barely hanging onto a nail on the wall! Even if you think its a good sturdy nail, it could pull out of the plaster wall board fairly easily. In other words, the weakest link will be the one that causes the whole thing to come crashing to the floor… JUST LIKE THIS $25,000 PAINTING!

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