These days it is becoming just as common for people to invest in works of art as in stocks or bonds as art investments can bring in great returns as well. However, if you are going to sink a lot of money into a piece of Aboriginal art, you will need to take proper care of it, because regardless of how nice a piece it once was, you won't be able to sell it for much if it falls into a state of disrepair. It is far easier to keep art in good condition than it is to have it restored, so do yourself and your investment a favour by learning how to look after your art. While it will vary considerably depending on what type of artwork your have, the following are some good general tips:
Be careful after buying your art
One of the times when you will need to be most worried about your investment into artwork is when you have just purchased them and are bringing them home. Make sure you have bought from a reputable gallery and whether you have invested in a sculpture or a large Aboriginal art painting you can't protect it too much. Make sure there is plenty of wrapping material around it to cushion it against knocks and falls. Ensure it will not be damaged by bouncing around in the back of a car or van. Most aboriginal art will be taken off their display frames for you and rolled up nicely to put inside a cylindrical tube. Make sure the paintings surface has been protected before rolling. These mailing tubes can be safely posted anywhere in the world. Or you may choose to bring it with you on the rest of your travels.
What medium has been used?
Most aboriginal art is now done with acrylic paint on canvas. Both the quality of the paints used and the canvas can affect the longevity of the painting. Make sure your painting has been done on the very best quality available to the artist. Under most conditions acrylic paints will stand up better over time than other mediums such as oils, gouache, watercolours, charcoals and pastels. However they still need to be cared for.
Acrylic paintings seem to gather much more dust on them than other mediums and so will benefit by a regular gentle dusting with a soft, clean towel or a feather duster.
Keep in a temperature controlled environment
Extreme heat and cold can affect acrylic on canvas paintings so care should be taken when hanging them in you home for display. Don't place above or beside an open fireplace, ovens, stoves, radiators or other source of heat. Likewise don't store your precious paintings in a room, garage or shed that has no heating. Very cold temperatures can adversely affect even paintings that are still in their storage cylinders. Your paintings should be stored or displayed in a room where you would be comfortable too!
When acrylic paintings are displayed or stored in areas of high humidity there appears to be evidence of mould growth becoming a problem. The best cure for this is to be diligent about prevention. Inspect your art regularly.
Acrylic paints may have a tendency to fade over time in the more vibrant colours. Make sure you ask the artist or gallerist if possible, what paints have been used on your painting as lesser quality paints may fade more quickly. Not much more can be done and some fading will be an accepted part of the aging process of the painting. Direct sunlight is another cause of the fading of the colours.
Try not to touch or handle your wonderful artwork very much as grease, dirt and oil can be transferred very easily from your hands to the canvas. Make sure to display your paintings out of reach of inquisitve hands!