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Registrar Notes

Flat Pack Portfolios

(works on paper)


(shipping photos)

Shadow boxes and crates

(stretched canvas, sculpture)

Hanging Systems

(display methods)

How to wrap Paintings on stretched canvas and panel

  • The first best thing is to not touch the surface of the painting.  The second best thing is to touch the surface lightly with Dartek .  Tyvek is also pretty good, although with Tyvek the texture of the painting vs. the material needs to be taken into consideration more than with Dartek. 

  • Take care to never wrap paintings with regular plastic/polyproplyene sheeting and never wrap with paper as both can permanently stick/fuse to the paint and require conservation.

  • Warning: Never touch the loose canvas, from the front or the back.  Handle by the outermost stretcher bars.  Never grab the inner stretcher bars like a handle or your hands may inadvertently press into the canvas from the back.  With wood or Aluminum panels it is OK to touch them from the back and sides, as long as you avoid touching the face. 

  • First best thing: get a crate and secure the artwork inside the crate with OZ clips

  • Second best thing: get a crate and secure the artwork in a shadow box that doesn't touch the face and has a layer of Dartek on top. 

  • Third best thing: build the shadow box with the Dartek on top, then build a lid for that box

  • Fourth best thing: the above shadow box without the lid, and plastic on top (where it will not ever touch the artwork).

  • The paintings should ideally be stored vertically, so as not to allow gravity to stress the loose canvas

 How to wrap Sculpture


  • Make sure the art is padded out gently but fully in the box so that it is not shaking inside of the box or crate.  Be especially careful that no weight can be placed on areas of fragility if the box is not kept upright.  Ideally it Should be able to be safely turned around in any direction. 

  • Depending on the work, you can take two trash bags, and put one trash bag into the box and fill with expanding foam.  Then gently press the sculpture into the bag filled with foam and remove it.  Allow the foam to set.  Then repeat with the other side.  Then you can use the foam in the bag for specially shaped packing.  Note to always remove the artwork from the foam bag while the foam dries so that it doesn't get stuck in the foam.  

  • Put the padded sculpture in a sturdy box, or if valuable, a crate.  If extremely valuable, you can even double crate. 

  • Always prepare for the worst: I have seen delivery people literally throw packages into the truck.  Fortunately they were not my packages.  

Good Materials for Sculpture wrapping

  • Bubble wrap is good

  • Foam blocks are good

  • Foam rolls are good

  • Expanding foam is good if there are no small delicate parts

  • Heavy double wall cardboard boxes

  • Wooden crates

  • Oz clips where appropriate

  • Soft Tyvek to wrap sculpture with sensitive finishes

Bad Materials for Sculpture wrapping

  • Avoid peanuts.  The art can break by accident when people are dumping them out of the box

  • Try not to over-tape (use excessive amounts of tape, a little is fine).  Cutting through a lot of extra tape with a palette knife can cause a risk to the artwork.

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