What is the Artwork Uncrating Process During an Installation?

uncratingThose who own or manage an art collection, for a private individual, museum, or gallery or who handle art storage, handling, and transportation know the level of concern put into ensuring that artwork is safely handled when it is in storage or being transported. In this process, crating and uncrating is a huge component of the well-being of the piece. As an art professional, you rely on the security that the fine art piece will be in the exact same condition when it is unboxed as it was the last time you saw it.

Whether your exhibition pieces must be uncrated and installed once to rest at their final destination or must be frequently moved and reinstalled as a part of a traveling exhibition, careful planning, and strategy is the best way to ensure that valuable art pieces safely reach their intended audience.

The Tools of a Successful Art Uncrating

Crates are more than just simple boxes — crates are complex systems specifically designed to secure a piece of artwork according to its shape, size, weight distribution, and materials. They often feature internal padding and braces, suitable to house a piece of artwork throughout its entire, extended lifecycle. Art Work Fine Art Services build crates that are suitable for a piece’s immediate needs and their needs years and decades into the future.

“All mediums have different properties and have different types of care required when crating and uncrating,” says Crating and Special Projects Manager Rob Saccardi. “Sheets of glass or slabs of marble have different crating, transportation, and installation concerns from a sheet of metal or a plywood panel, for example.”

Because of the extended lifecycle of artwork and artifacts, Art Work FAS employs the tools of a successful uncrating so that the piece may be removed safely and effectively by any art expert now and in the future. Crates are clearly labeled with instructions printed on the exterior of the crate. These instructions inform any potential handlers of the weight and internal structure of the crate, ensuring that no harm comes to the piece during the uncrating process.

Art Work Fine Art Services provided crating and packing services for John Grade’s Espejo installation, located now at the US Embassy, Guatemala City, Guatemala. We take a sequential approach to getting the work ready in conjunction with the studio. We worked at the studio to get the pieces ready for export. The Art Work FAS team crated pieces of the art installation individually for safety and with installation work at the Embassy in mind.  We had a clear labeling system directing the order of uncrating, so that each piece could be unpacked properly by the Art Work FAS team and installed by the John Grade team one at a time, while the subsequent pieces stayed properly crated and secured until it was time for their installation. 

We developed a crating system that supports artwork to suit art pieces that are frequently uncrated and recrated, including pieces in traveling exhibitions. Our durable builds and hinged wooden panels make it seamless, wherever pieces may travel to.

Artwork Installation: From the Crate to Display

The installation process is one that requires tactfulness, planning, and care, and it begins from the moment a piece of art leaves the crate. After a piece has been uncrated and before it can be installed, fine artwork requires a thorough evaluation to ensure that the artwork has remained in a satisfactory condition. Art Work FAS’s evaluators have trained eyes that notice each and every detail.

Whether you are needing to install a sculpture on a pedestal or a large life-sized statue, our team has the tools, including cranes and rigging, needed to handle even complicated, heavy, tenuous, and arduous tasks. Our experts take the same care and consideration when uninstalling and recrating valuable pieces.

Specialized Knowledge From Our Experts in Artwork Installation and Uncrating

For nearly 30 years, Art Work Fine Art Services has served as the trusted logistics partner to some of America’s most highly-regarded museums, galleries, collectors, and artists. We specialize in expert and custom solutions for fine art handling, domestic and international shipping, warehousing, and preservation of artwork. 

Our team is made up of passionate experts in many mediums, including design, painting, printmaking, carpentry, photography, and sculpture. Art Work FAS offers services in Portland and Seattle, in addition to California’s Bay Area and Silicon Valley, Los Angeles, New York City, and across the Rocky Mountains.  

To request an estimate or find out more about the services Art Work Fine Art Services offers, contact us.