Lenny

Storing and Moving Artwork and WWII Tunnels

“Humboldt Storage and Moving Co. in Canton has been transporting people’s most prized possessions for more than 100 years.

But when the company was asked to make a high-profile, cross-country delivery of a $135 million painting by Austrian artist Gustav Kilmt in 2006, Humboldt CEO Howard Goldman saw a prospective niche in storing, moving and managing fine art collections.”

So it begins an interesting article by A.J. Bauer from the GateHouse News Service.

Mind’s Eye, a division of Humboldt devoted entirely to moving, storing and managing collections of fine art and collectibles is also our sponsor and backer, and a few weeks ago I had the interesting experience of touring their spaces, and personally seeing the spectacular care and attention that they give to the emerging art of … ah… moving and storing art.

We’re all sort of snobs, even if we deny it, and I must admit that I was expecting to find only fine art being stored in custom made, climate controlled, impregnable room-sized walk-in safes.

I found that, but I also found them being used to store rare wines, family heirlooms, collectibles, and of course, blue chip art.

And I think that this is the tip of the iceberg, as more and more people focus their attention on the business of collecting artwork. According to the article, the company already “has plans to build an additional 3,000 square feet of climate-controlled storage vaults within the next three months, and expects an expansion of an additional 32,000 square feet in the next few years.”

In the next few months I hope to relate my own experiences with moving artwork as I continue to do art fairs all over the nation. It’s a fascinating aspect of the new boom of the art fair business, with galleries and private dealers moving artwork all over the world, from fair to fair. This is in fact, a very special and unique slice of the business of moving and storing artwork.

I am also curious to discover more about museums that are running out of storage space, which I think is the case with the various Smithsonian museums in the nation’s capital. As I am led to believe (and maybe this is all urban legend), a lot of this storage takes place in underground chambers under the National Mall in Washington, DC. These chambers apparently were originally built during WWII to store our national treasures in case the Germans or Japanese ever bombed our capital. Perhaps I will do a little digging research in this area to see if it is true and if an interesting story comes out.

More later…

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2 Comments »

  1. June 28, 2008 @ 2:39 pm

    Jack Straw Said,

    A site that fits your blogging interests: Collectibles-Museums.com

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