DEAR ART NURSE:
First of all, are you a bad or a good nurse? My main question, however, is from a collector/art lover’s angle. I love — absolutely LOVE — works on paper (I admit, it’s a fetish), but I have a dilemma: I’m terrified of placing any of the works near windows lest they are exposed to light and deteriorate.
I’ve heard that sun damage is so gradual that sometimes you don’t even notice the work is damaged until you put it beside another work (like another print from the same series). I properly frame all the work I purchase and use UV Plexiglas. But I hear that those don’t work very well after 5-10 years, since supposedly their effectiveness dwindles. I recently purchased an acrylic work on paper. I love it and have the perfect space for it but it has LOTS of light. Am I safe with acrylic? Also, I have photographs (C-prints). I want to love my art in the open but I fear that my love of art will never step out of the shadows where, at least, I know the art is safe. Am I being paranoid? Is there anything artists should be doing to guarantee their works don’t fade?
– Art lover desperately seeking to bring his art out of the closet
DEAR ART LOVER:
I am a good nurse, here to help you feed your fetishes. In the case of paper conservation — which I studied in graduate school under the phenomenal Antoinette King of MoMA, but abandoned when archeology came a-calling — I believe that a ton, not an ounce, of prevention is warranted. Fortunately, I live a stone’s throw from the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and have known its chief paper conservator, Janice Schopfer, since she was at the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco. In other words, relax. No more fears or paranoia are warranted. Read on — and let your love step out of the shadows.