How to organise transportation of a painting
In this article you will find all the basic info about transporting work of art – how to prepare it for shipping and what you should know before selecting a transport provider. We asked Karolina – a professional painter – to help us with finding answers.
CT: What should we consider while preparing a painting for transportation? How do you secure it properly?
Every painting should be wrapped separately in stretch foil. If you are moving more than one painting, you should ship them all in one package. The stretch foil will prevent the paintings from sticking to each other (as they should be stored “facing” each other). The backs of the paintings should be secured with some sturdy cardboard to avoid tearing the canvas during transport.
CT: What is the best way to prepare a painting for transportation?
I think that a painting should be double-wrapped in bubble wrap and additionally secured with cardboard. Also, it’s important to secure the corners of a painting with cardboard. Lastly, you should wrap it all in stretch foil. Personally, I recommend the black one.
CT: How do artists organise transport for their works?
The most common route we need transport on is between our art studio and an art gallery. We usually look for the cheapest option, pack the paintings ourselves and that’s it. And of course we inform the gallery (the recipient, in general) that the painting is on its way, so that they are ready to pick it up.
CT: What factors do you consider when selecting transportation for your paintings? What requirements must the potential transport provider meet before you decide to hire them?
I search for an option that will be as cheap as possible without decreasing the safety of the paintings during transport. I need transport providers that understand that a painting is a delicate cargo and cannot just be thrown in the back of the truck. A painting must be transported vertically, preferably leaning against something flat and secured with a harness. It’s crucial not to lean anything against the painting, as the canvas can tear. When the transport provider arrives to pick up the paintings, you can tell just by looking inside the truck whether they are prepared to transport a painting properly or not. While searching for transportation for paintings, you should always choose “works of art transport” option, if it’s available. It’s also important to set the picking date and delivery date precisely. Transporting paintings is often an extra job for the transport provider and a precise delivery date will help you avoid situations when your painting is just laying in the truck for a couple of days, waiting for its turn.
CT: Why did you decide to hire a moving company instead of a courier?
Because of competitive pricing. When shipping large packages (and paintings are often two metres long) a moving company is often the only option that is affordable for an artist. When transporting large packages by courier, prices begin at £200.
CT: On what occasion have you had the chance to use Clicktrans for finding the right transport provider?
I have acually used Clicktrans a couple of times before, for transporting paintings both to an art gallery and to private clients.
CT: Thank you for meeting with us.
Prices of transporting a painting
On international routes, for transporting a painting you will pay around £60–100 .
Painting from Cracow (Poland) to Dublin (Ireland) for £59:
Painting from Zurich (Switzerland) to Cracow (Poland) for £101:
Four paintings and a stereo from Knutsford (UK) to Józefów (Poland) for £101:
Want to know how much you will pay for transporting a painting?
This is a translation of an interview done for the Polish version of the blog – if you would like to read the original piece, click here.