Art Exhibition Logistics - Man looking at Fine Art

Exhibition Logistics: It’s a Fine Art

Many potential perils await art on the move. Mitigating them depends on who’s in charge of the exhibition logistics.  

For any art gallery or museum organising an exhibition of their permanent or temporary collections around the country or even the world, the entire process can often be fraught with worry. Getting precious works from A to B and onwards to C is not, after all, just about transportation and storage. What if, for example, the ship your works are on sinks?

At Momentous, UK leaders in art shipping, we know there are several pressing concerns when museums and fine art galleries are involved in exhibition logistics. If not handled correctly, there is the real risk of catastrophic damage to priceless paintings, sculptures and other works of art. It is those high values that also snare the attention of top-level thieves who know when something valuable is on the move and are all too willing to swoop in and steal.

Exhibition logistics really is a fine art, given the size, dimensions and sheer weight of many works of art. Just how, many art gallery managers might puzzle, are you going to ship those enormous, wall-sized Jackson Pollocks from London to Malaga and then continue the worldwide tour in New York — and get them there on time and in one piece? It’s a definite challenge, but the good exhibition logistics news is there are seasoned pros on hand to help.

Exhibition Logistics: All in the Planning

When choosing a company like ours to handle exhibition logistics, it’s essential to carry out proper checks beforehand. What sort of facilities, transportation and storage do they have? Is the company accredited with leading quality management and removal standards? And are the staff who will be physically moving the works fully trained, experienced experts in their field?

Then it’s all about intricate planning and a laser-like focus on every detail. The best exhibition logistics firms will devise a comprehensive plan that covers every stage of transporting works of fine art from one place to another. It removes the stress and worry from art gallery and museum managers. This is why it’s vital to go with the exhibition logistics pros — works are protected, as well as peace of mind.

After all, it doesn’t matter how much sophisticated security is in place at an art gallery or museum, or how many security professionals and firms are working to keep them out of the hands of robbers. Once works are in transit, all of those vital levels of security go out the window and there are threats around every corner. It’s certainly a possibility that you may wave goodbye to your renowned paintings, hoping to see them soon at the other end of their journey — only for them to vanish and never be seen again.

Staging a Momentous Exhibition

Our seasoned exhibition logistics professionals work to ensure nothing goes awry at every stage of the project. This begins with ensuring the casing and packaging for precious works of art is a suitable fit, with bespoke packing often required due to works’ unusual shapes and sizes. To guarantee paintings and objects of art will survive what can be a long and arduous journey — by road, air or sea — it’s critical their packing is fully customised so they are not damaged.

While on the road, it may be required that works are stored for a period, and we have specialist, highly secure facilities here in the UK and right around the world.

Once we reach an exhibition destination, we are all set to start unpacking and installing the works of art. It’s not a case of dropping them off and leaving, but full-service exhibition logistics. That includes expert unpacking and getting works ready for the momentous exhibition to open to a whole new audience of art lovers.

Find out more about the best exhibition logistics for your next exhibit by contacting the experts at Momentous today. We’ll discuss every aspect of your plans, free of charge and with no obligation to you.


Fine art transport by air and sea

Plane or Sailing: What’s Best for Fine Art Transport?

With fine art transport, you need to weigh up the options of getting your valuable works from one place to another.

When you want to move fine art, whether just one piece or many items for an exhibition, you have to consider how to get it there. A number of factors will dictate what method of transportation art gallery and museum managers opt for, including time and costs. But the most important is total security, so the valuable works survive the trip and arrive intact.

There are, of course, many risks with fine art transport, meaning you cannot just leave the task to any shipping or transport firm. Insurance requirements will usually call for specialist fine art transport; experts who have many years’ experience handling and transporting priceless works of art without a problem. Trying to cut costs by using a general shipping firm may well result in disaster.

The absolute worst thing that can happen during the transportation of your fine art is that the works of art are not just damaged (it may be possible to repair them, after all), but that they are stolen en route to their destination. This is a very real prospect and one that unfortunately has occurred many times in recent years. The works will most likely disappear into private hands, having been sold off via black-market contacts.

High-Flying Fine Art Transport

Many owners and directors of art galleries and museums turn to aircraft for their fine art transport needs. It’s fast but can be costly, and it’s not always accommodating to particular art transport requirements. Large paintings may not fit in the cargo holds of the type of small passenger planes used on short-haul flights around Europe, for example.

Fine art transport specialists, like us here at Momentous, talk to their clients about the works they want to ship and come up with the best solutions. If it’s possible to transport artworks by air, getting them to their location as swiftly as possible and reducing the security risks, a fine art logistics team will work out the most effective way to do it.

We always make sure that when fine art is being transported by air, either around the UK, to wider Europe or anywhere in the world, that it does not travel alone. We have a specialised flight courier who accompanies works on their journey, ensuring they reach their destination and are properly unpacked and ready to be displayed at the exhibition.

All at Sea with Fine Art Transport

If time is not an issue, it may be best to consider sea transport to move fine art from one location to another. Plus, it’s ideal for large works of art that cannot be transported by air. Indeed, planning fine art transport far in advance of an exhibition will give you the option of using sea transport anyway. If it’s an entire exhibition involving large volumes of art, it may, in fact, be the only viable way.

Getting to the seaport or airport must also be considered. Our vehicles, for instance, are specially configured to protect your fine art during transport. They’re climate-controlled to provide the perfect environment for even the most delicate works, and have insulated bodies and air-ride suspension


Fine Art Shipping: The Golden Rules

By air, sea or road — the choice is yours when you want to get your precious works of art and other valuable items from one place to another. Thankfully today, the best fine art shipping companies have ways of getting them there, quickly, securely and in one piece.

Here at Momentous, we have more than 30 years of experience in fine art shipping and have developed our own, expert solutions to moving all kind of valuable items. In the process, we have developed a reputation among art galleries, auction houses, private collectors, interior designers and others as a leader in our field. We know how to handle any work of fine art and make sure it arrives intact at its destination.

If you’re a seasoned gallery or auction house owner with lots of experience moving works around the place — quite possibly with some nightmare fine art shipping stories to tell — or considering transporting art for the first time, consider our golden rules of doing it properly.

◘  Rule No. 1: People Power

Before you do anything, find out what experience the fine art shipping company actually has, and what their handling staff are like. This is a fine, white glove service that requires training, experience and high levels of professionalism; you don’t want just anyone packing up your exquisite paintings and trying to load them in a truck. Plus, how well are they able to work out the kind of intricate logistics you need to move your items?

So, ask what kind of training and experience staff have and see what international audit bodies the fine art shipping company has. Here at Momentous, we have FIDI-FAIM certification, for instance, and undergo on-site quality assessments by Ernst & Young. We’re also part of the extensive Harmony Relocation Network.

◘ Rule No. 2: Perfect Fine Art Shipping Packing

The best fine art shipping companies use only superior packing materials to ensure your treasured works are cocooned against the elements and any shocks that could prove disastrous. Because no two works of art or other valuable items are the same — at least in size —  specialist skills are required to carefully assess what’s needed to protect each one while on the road, in the air or being transported by sea.

Whichever method of transport, secure cases tailored to each item are essential so that nothing happens to them along the way. Just wrapping something up in bubble wrap and hoping for the best can have disastrous consequences, leaving you way out of pocket if your expensive work or object is damaged.

◘ Rule No. 3: Strict Fine Art Shipping Security

Tales are everywhere of valuable works of art going missing in transit. Some years ago, a Goya worth around £530,000 was stolen while being transported to the Guggenheim Museum in New York. Lesser known artists have also had their works pinched while on the road.

So there’s no denying that fine art shipping can often be a risky business, and you need the most secure transport facilities available. Momentous has invested in CCTV, GPS tracking and alarm systems for its road transport services, giving gallery owners, auction houses and collectors ultimate peace of mind. Having fine art transportation insurance will also protect you from any eventuality.

Find out more about fine art shipping from the most professional firm operating in the UK today. Contact Momentous now and our team of friendly experts will be happy to answer all your questions and devise custom shipping solutions if required.

Why Secure Storage Is Essential When Shipping Artwork

Great works of art have many prying eyes, some nefarious and keen to steal. Keeping thieves away requires intensely secure storage.

It’s no secret that professional thieves love fine works of art. They’re relatively easy to make off with and, with the right contacts, they can soon get them onto the black market and make a fortune. The only real difficulty is getting their hands on them in the first place.

This is a worry that crosses the mind of many a fine art gallery and collector. As many paintings have been swiped while in transit or apparently secure storage, fears are raised once the priceless works are out of a gallery’s or private residence’s own secure environment. What’s of particular concern is that many stolen paintings are never recovered; they just seem to disappear into the ether, never to be seen again.

Consider one of the most notorious art heists in history: that of Dutch chiaroscuro master Vermeer’s The Concert. This is — or rather was — a priceless masterpiece that nevertheless had a value of around US$200 million and depicts a man and two women playing music and singing. First sold in Amsterdam in 1696, it was stolen along with 12 other works from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston in 1990 and hasn’t been seen since.

The Shipping Artwork Forecast

While that museum theft remains the biggest single art robbery in history and an unsolved crime (a $10 million reward for information remains in place), thankfully, other swiped works have resurfaced. A de Kooning (Woman-Ochre) recently emerged from the murky underworld shadows more than 30 years after it was nicked.

One thing, however, is clear. Thieves will strike anywhere they get the opportunity, even if art galleries have the latest in security and surveillance measures. There is, it turns out, always a way in. That’s why here at Momentous, global specialists in shipping artwork and secure storage, we have carefully analysed the best preventative measures and implemented them.

We know all too well how stressful it can be for art gallery owners and private collectors when their precious works are out of their hands. Whether they are shipping artwork to international exhibitions and the works are on the road for long periods, or housed for a period in secure storage, extra precautions are required.

Solid Secure Storage

Safety and security are two vital elements of any secure storage area, so you know that from the start, fine art will be handled with care and kept well out of sight. Our secure storage facility, for example, was purpose-built and because it’s near both Heathrow Airport and the Eurotunnel, it’s highly advantageous for shipping artwork onwards, or receiving paintings from abroad.

What kind of security keeps robbers at bay? From our experience with secure storage and the systems we use, it’s an effective combination of CCTV that’s monitored around the clock, intruder alarms, high-security perimeter fencing, ram-raid doors and other measures that we don’t disclose. This provides an almost impenetrable wall of security that keeps even the most ardent robbers out. Over our three decades and more of experience in secure storage and shipping artwork, we have never had a client’s work of art stolen.

But it’s not enough just to have secure storage facilities laden with security technology, designed to keep criminals out and record everyone’s movements. It’s also vital that the personnel working in this pristine environment are fully qualified specialists in not only handling and storing fine artworks, but can keep quiet about what’s being stored, especially if famous paintings arrive.

It all adds up to a fine art secure storage system, brushed with genius.

Find out more about the best secure storage facilities for fine art in the UK today by contacting Momentous now. We will tell you everything you need to know to keep your valuable works safe and secure at all times when they’re in storage and being shipped around the UK and the world.