Art Collectors Need to Keep Cool as Temperatures Rise
WARREN, NJ, June 9, 2014—As the heat index rises, art collectors need to take extra measures to help protect their valuables from the effects of high
temperatures and humidity.
“Paintings and other works of art on paper expand and contract in response to changes in temperature and humidity, and canvasses
can become looser or tighter, often changing shape,” says Laura Murphy, a fine arts specialist with the Chubb Group of Insurance
Companies. “Particularly during the summer months, collectors will want to take steps to prevent surface distortions, paint
flaking, mold growth, staining and decay.”
Wood furniture and gilded frames absorb moisture when the humidity levels rise. If the gesso primer layer beneath a frame
isn’t thick enough to flex with the expansion and contraction of the wood, then it can flake and detach, Murphy said.
Chubb’s team of fine art and collector specialists offers these recommendations to help protect fine art and furniture from
- When a room is not in use, draw the blinds, curtains or shades and turn off the lights to create a cool, dark environment.
Paint is organic, and it can degrade in blazing heat. Light, especially ultraviolet sunlight, can cause irreversible fading
or color change, especially in paper, textiles and photographs.
- Keep the temperature and humidity in the home as constant as possible—65 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit and 55% to 65% relative
- Don't turn off the air conditioning before leaving even for a short weekend getaway. Temperature fluctuations can loosen the
joints of antiques.
- Do not store fine art in your basement or attic where it can be exposed to dramatic temperature fluctuations, floods and leaks.
Create an art closet with horizontal racks and a locked door. Wrap and store framed artwork front to back in a vertical position.
- Frame all art. Paper, textiles and photographs should be hung with museum-quality materials by a professional art hanger.
- Install water alert sensors in areas of the home susceptible to water damage, including above ceiling trays and under washers,
dryers and radiators.
Chubb’s team of 20 fine art and collector specialists across the United States provide consulting and other services to clients
who have a Chubb Valuable Articles policy. The specialists have extensive expertise in assessing risks in homes, offices,
galleries, art warehouses and other locations where collections may be kept. They can provide fire protection and security
recommendations and general conservation and restoration advice. They also offer referrals to the Masterpiece® Protection
Network, which is comprised of independent experts in appraisal, collection management, shipping, storage and security.
Most of Chubb’s fine art specialists have degrees in art and worked at museums, galleries and auction houses before joining
Chubb. All of them have completed an intensive proprietary Chubb training program to become fine art specialists.
Chubb’s Valuable Articles policy provides worldwide coverage for fine art as well as collectibles such as jewelry, furs, silverware,
musical instruments, stamps and coins. The policy includes coverage for breakage, mysterious disappearance and newly-acquired
items, as well as inflation protection.
Since 1882, members of the Chubb Group of Insurance Companies have provided property and casualty insurance products to customers
around the globe. These products are offered through a worldwide network of independent agents and brokers. The Chubb Group
of Insurance Companies is known for financial strength, underwriting and loss-control expertise, tailoring products for the
needs of high-net-worth individuals and commercial customers in niche markets and select industry segments, and outstanding
The Chubb Group of Insurance Companies is the marketing term used to describe several separately incorporated insurance companies
under the common ownership of The Chubb Corporation. The Chubb Corporation is listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE:
CB) and, together with its subsidiaries, employs approximately 10,000 people throughout North America, Europe, Latin America,
Asia and Australia. For more information regarding The Chubb Corporation, including a listing of the insurers in the Chubb
Group of Insurance Companies, visit www.chubb.com.