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Thread: Random Q: Is there something like Bikeflights for fine art?

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    Default Random Q: Is there something like Bikeflights for fine art?

    i.e., a freight service that coordinates shipments for fine art, including insurance, in a more tailored (and possibly economic) way than working directly with UPS?

    TIA

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    Default Re: Random Q: Is there something like Bikeflights for fine art?

    Quote Originally Posted by TTX1 View Post
    i.e., a freight service that coordinates shipments for fine art, including insurance, in a more tailored (and possibly economic) way than working directly with UPS?

    TIA
    There are people in the biz, but it’s probably not more economic. The museums I know have people, and I’ve helped them with little stowaway devices that record temperature and humidity (as well as physical shock) to make sure the shipment has stayed inside the contracted values.

    Know any conservators or preparators at local museums?
    Trod Harland, Pickle Expediter

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    Default Re: Random Q: Is there something like Bikeflights for fine art?

    We build crates for my wife's large repousse pieces and ship them Fedex. They weigh 50-70 pounds.
    Retired Sailor, Marine dad, semi-professional cyclist, fly fisherman, and Indian School STEM teacher.
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    Default Re: Random Q: Is there something like Bikeflights for fine art?

    It's going to be more expensive. In many cases, the shipper will want to coordinate the packing. Speak to an auction house to see who they partner with.
    I know sothebys has their own logistics team, but partner with various shippers.

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    Default Re: Random Q: Is there something like Bikeflights for fine art?

    Last time I bought a painting the artist used one of the usual shipping company (sorry don't remember which one) with tracking/insurance and all the regular stuff. It was just super expensive because the paint was enclosed in a heavy wooden box. I don't really understand the interest in having a dedicated company for arts as there is no standard format that is common to any painting or sculpture. I am not sure I understand the appeal in bikeflights anyway.
    Last edited by sk_tle; 12-04-2023 at 08:44 AM.
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    Default Re: Random Q: Is there something like Bikeflights for fine art?

    My daughter is a collections coordinator at a museum and she sent these links to me. She said depending upon where you live, you might want to contact local museums to see who they use, as these services are often in larger cities…museum density, more people with personal collections, auction houses, etc.

    https://www.gonavis.com/art-shipping

    https://fineartshippers.com/

    https://www.aetnafineart.com/?gclid=...SAAEgJit_D_BwE
    rw saunders
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    Default Re: Random Q: Is there something like Bikeflights for fine art?

    Sounds like a road trip is in order. Rent a van and make a week out of it!
    Might save some $$$ while you’re at it.
    Jason Babcock

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    Default Re: Random Q: Is there something like Bikeflights for fine art?

    Quote Originally Posted by TTX1 View Post
    i.e., a freight service that coordinates shipments for fine art, including insurance, in a more tailored (and possibly economic) way than working directly with UPS?

    TIA
    I've packed for myself, worked at MoMA in the Registrar's office and used expensive art handlers. I'd say it depends on what you are shipping- how big, etc- but I trust myself more than the pros. Bike Flights has been great by the way, especially if you use their boxes.

    I'd call the Fogg and ask for advice if what you are shipping is museum quality and large, otherwise just make it idiot proof and use UPS. I shipped my computer back from Oregon recently, using the box Apple ships in plus another for good measure. Easy peasy.
    Jay Dwight

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    Default Re: Random Q: Is there something like Bikeflights for fine art?

    Since we're on the subject, and at some point in the future I will need to do this myself:

    Say you have quite a few oil paintings (moderate $ value, but lots of sentimental value) that are going to be moved.

    If practical, are the canvas + stretcher bars (together) removed from the frame, and the canvas (still on stretchers) wrapped, packed, and shipped, then the same for the frame (which is presumably not nearly as fragile)? Or do you leave everything in the frame? Sometimes it's really easy to remove a painting from the frame, sometimes it's nearly impossible without some degree of surgery.

    I ask this because when I look at my stuff it seems to me that the main concern is motion of the canvas perpendicular to the plane of the surface, inducing additional cracks in the paint. Does one try to put some sort of "padding" on both sides of the canvas to minimize that motion? Or do you let the canvas do whatever it wants to do relative to the stretcher bars that are supporting it? IOW, is that out of plane motion something I should worry about, or just let it happen?

    I've seen some stuff on the web that says to put glassine paper on the painting itself, but that won't keep the canvas from vibrating in-and-out of plane unless you put something like bubble wrap or cardboard on both sides.

    TIA

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    Default Re: Random Q: Is there something like Bikeflights for fine art?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mabouya View Post
    Since we're on the subject, and at some point in the future I will need to do this myself:

    Say you have quite a few oil paintings (moderate $ value, but lots of sentimental value) that are going to be moved.

    If practical, are the canvas + stretcher bars (together) removed from the frame, and the canvas (still on stretchers) wrapped, packed, and shipped, then the same for the frame (which is presumably not nearly as fragile)? Or do you leave everything in the frame? Sometimes it's really easy to remove a painting from the frame, sometimes it's nearly impossible without some degree of surgery.

    I ask this because when I look at my stuff it seems to me that the main concern is motion of the canvas perpendicular to the plane of the surface, inducing additional cracks in the paint. Does one try to put some sort of "padding" on both sides of the canvas to minimize that motion? Or do you let the canvas do whatever it wants to do relative to the stretcher bars that are supporting it? IOW, is that out of plane motion something I should worry about, or just let it happen?

    I've seen some stuff on the web that says to put glassine paper on the painting itself, but that won't keep the canvas from vibrating in-and-out of plane unless you put something like bubble wrap or cardboard on both sides.

    TIA
    Usually the box is built for the entire assembly. Painting on stretchers and in frame. The boxes are wooden crates with reinforced edges and corners. And for older more fragile objects, there are methods for using bagged expansion foam for creating custom tailored fit to completely support the artwork without risk of movement. And rigid foam elsewhere in the box to hold the expanded sections. But for work in better condition, rigid foam blocks can used to suspend and immobilize the art in the middle of the crate. When you work in a gallery, you see these crates get used over and over again as the artwork travels to various shows at museums and galleries, accumulating stamps and tags and such. Worth the investment to make sure things get there in one piece.

    But there are cardboard box companies specializing in art shipping boxes for work that may not require special care or otherwise does not need custom construction. One of them is Airfloat. From their website, they look like they offer a good product. The price is low enough, ordering a box just to inspect in person wouldn't be too horrible.
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