Finding the right fine art storage and logistics partner

Do you know the questions to ask? To assist you in choosing the right partner for fine art storage and logistics, we have created a list of questions to ask before entrusting them with your valued or heritage pieces.
Fine art is a vital component of culture and society. It’s a talking point, a passion, an investment and a thing of beauty. We spend time looking at it, we appreciate it and explore its meaning.

Without fine art, where would so many of us be? Fine art is our lifeline, our purpose, our hobby or our profession. Taking great care of it and preserving it is so important – for our own interests and for generations to come.
“ Our team takes care of all kinds of artworks in a way that for generations after us, they can be seen in the same condition as they’re in today.”
Fred Weijgertse, Vice President, Crown Fine Art

Your essential eight-point list

To assist you in choosing the right partner for fine art storage and logistics, we have created a list of questions to ask before entrusting them with your valued or heritage pieces. It’s a list by which we set our own high standards and we hope it is of value to you.

1. What security measures do you take?

It goes without saying that you need your high-value items to be protected from theft. Before you leave any items with a storage provider, tour their facilities with a member of staff to identify any areas where you believe there may be risk. Our facilities across the world meet the highest security standards and requirements of every region. They incorporate the most up-to-date security measures and access standards, including Global Risk Assessment Platform (GRASP) certified facilities.

2. How is the storage environment controlled?

Fine art warehouses must keep your pieces safe and secure at all times. This includes ensuring the environment is temperature controlled and in a way that protects them from humidity, damp, vermin, fire and rot. They must be able to physically show you how their facilities meet these challenges head-on. You could ask to see these measures for yourself. 

At Crown Fine Art we offer a wide range of temperature-controlled units across the world. The environment in each location is carefully monitored according to the country and the changing conditions throughout the year.

3. What is your background and experience in fine art storage and logistics?

There are so many new storage facilities popping up all over the world. But a good reputation is earned over the course of many years working in the fine art business. We have over 50 years’ experience and expertise in this field, and we are well respected and trusted by museums, galleries, auction houses and private collectors the world over. 

Just some of our projects include:
  • Moving The Night Watch, Rembrandt van Rijn’s world-renowned painting famous for its enormous size, before and after the Rijksmuseum’s milestone ten-year renovation.
  • A 3,000 year-old sarcophagus in two parts, de-installed, packed and prepared for a 5,000 mile journey from the Netherlands to the U.S.
  • Relocating The Chestnut Tower by Korean artist, Jaehyo Lee, from Seoul to Dubai in two 40 foot sea containers.
  • Providing the full logistics coordination and art handling services for the packing, transport and installation of over 500 works to the Museum of San Domenico in Forlì for the important exhibition “Art Deco: The Roaring Twenties in Italy.”

4. What experience do you have with heritage pieces?

Older, heritage pieces are often more challenging to look after and if you operate in this sector or own heritage pieces, you need to make sure your storage and logistics partner has the right level of expertise. Each piece may need to be assessed; no two heritage pieces are the same. Following an assessment, a bespoke proposal can be created to ensure your pieces are managed in the right way by our network of professional conservators. Simply packing and storing these items is incorrect. They require great care and attention to detail. Even more so if they are to be transported across borders.

5. Which organizations do you work with and do you have testimonials?

It’s always reassuring to ask for testimonials from current clients and to see well-known names and brands in the art world working with your chosen storage facilities. It’s definitely worth asking for social proof. We’re proud of the outstanding work we’ve achieved with all our clients, and we have evidence of our precise standards in many case studies and testimonials on our website.
“ Delivering exceptional service to our clients is of paramount importance and Crown Fine Art is helping us to achieve this with an innovative approach.”
Logistics and Fulfilment Director, Christie’s

6. How and when can I access my pieces?

If you need to view your items in your own timescales, this should happen as and when you need it to. You might have an important meeting to value, sell or insure your fine art and it needs to be on a certain time and day.

This might not always be possible, yet at Crown, many of our facilities have viewing rooms. 

Gallery owners and collectors are free to meet and view/sell/buy art whenever they like, making our facilities their own. Even in our facilities where this is not possible you will always find our team to be flexible and understanding.

7. How will you support me when I need help and advice quickly?

The last thing you need as a fine art curator or owner is to call your storage partner and for no-one to answer the phone. You need a responsive team who take the time to get to know you personally, who respect you and understand when you need an urgent answer. We know you’re likely to be operating in fast-paced and demanding environments where every question requires an almost immediate response. 

Our highly responsive team are always available to support you. In fact, all of our employees have a passion for and a deep interest in the world of art. We are always contactable and we respect your pieces as if they were our own.

8. What makes your company different?

Ask any fine art storage company about their additional services and you will get an immediate insight into the level they are operating at. Of course, there will be companies that just offer fine art storage and shipping – and that’s OK. 

Our high caliber is demonstrated through additional services including installation, specialist advice and a weekly shuttle service that spans some of the major art centers in Europe. 

Our values take our uniqueness one step further again, including making human connections, having mutual respect and understanding, shared business goals and a passion for art.

Contact us today to find out more about the services we provide.