Category Archives: Fine Art

Fine Art Storage

A Look Back: Art Basel Switzerland 2015

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ST. PETERSBURG, RUSSIA - JUNE 7, 2015: People at first exhibition of the project "Modern artists of

A month after blockbuster contemporary art auctions at Sotheby’s, Christie’s, and Phillips, Art Basel Switzerland celebrated its 46th year, opening to huge art-hungry crowds on June 18th in Basel, Switzerland. The art fair, which ran from June 18 – 21, 2015, featured thousands of contemporary art pieces in all types of media—from paintings to digital to performance art. The showed featured works by over 4,000 artists, including established career artists and up-and-coming artists as well as relative unknowns. Around 284 galleries competed for the attention of fair attendees, hoping to showcase and sell grand works to collectors from all over the world. It was estimated that the value of all the showcased artwork was around $3.1 billion.

The art fair is divided into sections, each section featuring different styles or types of art as well as different artists’ works. The Unlimited section, one of the most popular sections of the fair, included 74 art installations and pieces from artists such as Julius von Bismark, David Shirley, Konrad Klapheck, and Olafur Eliasson, among others. Julius von Bismark, for instance, enjoyed a glass of wine at a simple table or tucked himself into bed on an installation he titled “Egocentric System”—all while rotating on a large concrete bowl, the centrifugal force of the rotating bowl keeping the furniture and Julius from flying off.

While the Art Basel fair progressed, other art fairs also attracted crowds throughout the city of Basel.

Art Basel is one of the largest art fairs in the world. It has satellite art fairs in both Hong Kong and Miami Beach, which also attract large crowds of interested spectators and buyers.

The Art Basel Switzerland fair will resume on June 16-19, 2016. Will you be attending?

If you are an amateur or professional art collector, art storage is always a top concern. Museo Vault offers the best in art storage along with other services such as art shows. Visit our Homepage for more information today.

A Look Back: Top Galleries of the Art Basel-Miami Beach 2015 Public Sector

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Art Basel Miami Exhibition

For the fifth year in a row, we at Museo Vault were excited to install the artworks in the 2015 Art Basel-Miami Beach art fair’s Public sector. Located at Collins Park, these installations represented works expounding on the chosen theme of “Metaforms.”


Public curator Nicholas Baume chose the theme and explained its meaning in an email to artnet News: “The idea of Metaforms captures the way many works of art draw on the familiar forms of everyday life and through manipulations of scale, material, texture, and content become something else. That resulting work of art manages to evoke the form at its source while adding new layers of formal complexity and meaning.”


Some of the installations invited participation, such as sitting on Hank Willis Thomas’s speech bubble benches entitled “The Truth is I See You” or Sam Fall’s Healing Pavilion, a communal seating area covered in gems and crystals important to psychic healing. Other installations included Marianne Vitale’s Ace of Spades sculpture, which extended nearly 30 feet and included 60 tons of steel scrap material.


Also included in the Public sector show were art performances scheduled for the art fair’s opening.


This year, come visit Collins Park both during and after ABMB 2016 to enjoy Miami Beach’s lovely weather and to take in the inspirational installations and performances going on there. Art Basel-Miami Beach ran from December 3 – 6, 2015 and is sure to be around the same time in 2016!  See you there!


Tips for Displaying Wall Art

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Man Hanging Picture Frames On Wall At Home

A fine collection of paintings and other types of art that can be hung on or leaned against walls deserves to be shown off. Here are some tips for coming up with the best configuration that fits your collection and your home.


Eclectic Gallery Walls

Pieces with unique frames, varied sizes and styles, and differing subject matter don’t have to be separated to make them look important. In fact, such a collection benefits most from being grouped together rather than spread too far apart. The larger your collection, the more interesting the artwork will appear individually and as a group.

The best way to work out a configuration for an eclectic collection is to trace the frames or canvases onto butcher or kraft paper. After cutting out the templates, play with the placement by taping the templates on the wall and moving them around to create a balanced and visually pleasing grouping. Start by placing the largest pieces evenly throughout the designated space and then using smaller pieces to fill in the gaps. Keep the space between pieces fairly small and uniform for cohesiveness and to prevent scattering the art over too broad an area. Once you have the configuration you like, tap your picture-hanging apparatus through the paper into the wall, remove the paper template, and hang the real piece.


Rotating Collection

When you have more art than space to display it, set up a simple rotating system by installing picture rails. Picture rails attached to your wall at just below eye level means displayed art pieces are at the perfect height for viewing. Lean larger pieces against the wall and layer smaller pieces in front of larger ones for a dynamic display. Change out pieces regularly to keep the display fresh and eye-catching.



Hanging artwork in a symmetrical way creates a soothing, peaceful atmosphere in a home. Create symmetry through the use of identical frames and mattes, painting frames the same color, and hanging pieces symmetrically. Focal walls, above large pieces of furniture such as sofas or tables or along hallways are all excellent spaces in which to create symmetry.

There are no hard-and-fast rules about how to hang and display your art collection. Search for ideas online or get some ideas from interior designers or art specialists. When it comes to safely storing and preserving your art treasures in Southern Florida, rely on the expertise of Museo Vault. We specialize in providing top quality fine art and antique storage along with an array of related services. Visit our Home page today for more information and to request a quote.

Art Wynwood 2016

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Art Walls at Wynwood

Further cementing Miami as one of the leading art centers of the United States, Art Wynwood 2016 joins other notable events as Art Basel | Miami Beach (December 1-4, 2016) and Spectrum Miami Art Show (November 30-December 4, 2016), along with plenty of smaller (but no less important) art shows scattered throughout the year. This year, Art Wynwood International Contemporary Art Fair will run from February 11-15, 2016 (the fair is always held during Presidents Day weekend).


Art Wynwood is a product of the Wynwood Art District, located in the Wynwood neighborhood of North Miami. The neighborhood houses multiple art galleries, museums, collections, art complexes, studios, and art fairs. A prominent feature of the Wynwood Art District is the walls covered with street art, which attract artists and viewers from all over the world. The district seeks to maintain its walkability, encouraging pedestrians to enjoy the wall and door art as well as browse through the galleries and museums.


The Art Wynwood 2016 event offers gifts and handicraft products from industry creators as well as exhibits from 70 international galleries. These galleries showcase the latest products and services as well as a wide variety of art genres, including contemporary and modern, urban street art, sculpture, art video, paintings, photography, underground, and more.



If you were unable to attend this fantastic event, it is still possible to experience the Wynwood Art District at other times throughout the year. The district holds Art Walks every second Saturday of the month from 6pm to 10pm (and sometimes extending further into the evening). During these Art Walks, galleries, art institutions, and retail businesses throw open their doors to thousands of visitors, who are invited to browse, shop, and enjoy the unique art culture that both Miami and the Wynwood neighborhood have to offer.

Tips for Storing Pottery

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Turkish Traditional  Handpainted Pottery Bowls

Beautiful pottery pieces—whether they are the works of artists or your own beloved child—should be treated with care and precision. You should pay as much attention to the storage needs of your pottery collection as you do to other fine works of art in other mediums.


What is Pottery?


The broad term “pottery” covers vessels and pieces made of earth or baked clay, including porcelain, ceramic, earthenware, and stoneware. Clay is thrown on a wheel or sculpted by hand into vessels, bowls, and figures. After it has been shaped and thoroughly air-dried, the clay is then fired in a kiln. The heat of the kiln changes the clay on a molecular level by burning out any water, carbon, and sulfur stored in the clay body. The heat also causes the clay particles to fuse together, turning a once malleable material into something hard and impervious to water. Glazes that have been used to decorate a pottery piece now adhere to the clay, making them permanent parts of the final product.


The Needs of Pottery


Pottery, while it can be incredibly strong, is also susceptible to the ravages of frequent and sudden temperature and humidity changes. Thus, storing precious pottery in a garage or traditional self-storage unit is not a good idea. Always keep pottery collections in a climate-controlled environment such as in your living area or in a climate-controlled storage unit.


Storing Pottery Collections Safely


Before wrapping and storing pieces for storage, carefully dust the pieces first—especially if you are storing unfinished or unglazed pieces. You can gently wash finished and glazed pieces in warm, soapy water before storage.


Always avoid using newspaper to wrap pieces, as newspaper contains acids that can mar a pottery piece’s finish. Instead, choose acid-free paper or soft cloth like linen or muslin. If you are storing your pottery in boxes, lay several layers of bubble wrap on the bottom of the box before wrapping the bubble wrap around the pieces themselves. Make sure there is enough space between pieces that they are not rubbing or knocking against one another. Fill in all gaps with more bubble wrap or cloth until each piece sits firmly supported. Place layers of bubble wrap on top of the pieces before closing and securing the lid of the box.


Pottery pieces can also be stored individually. If you are storing a collection, use wooden or smooth metal shelves to hold wrapped pieces, placing each piece far enough apart for air to circulate freely.


Expensive collections of pottery should be entrusted to a fine art storage facility. These facilities have the ability to precisely control temperature and humidity ranges as well as providing security for your investment.

Picking Art for Your Home: An Amateur Collector’s Guide

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Sunday flea market.

Your home should be a reflection of the personality (or personalities) that lives there. Ideally, nothing should end up in your living space that isn’t functional for you or beautiful to you or a combination of the two. Artwork is no exception. The art you choose to hang or showcase around your home should be pieces that speak to you in some way. When you invest in pieces that you truly love, your home will seem more comfortable and nurturing.


There are no rules to choosing art you love; that choice will often be a result of a gut reaction you feel toward any specific piece. It doesn’t matter if the piece was created by a famous artist or your young nephew: if you love it and it speaks to you, that’s art.


There are, however, some general guidelines you can utilize as you look to populate the walls and other spaces in your home with beautiful works.




While fine art can be an investment, it should never be a road to bankruptcy. Consider your budget as you look for pieces you want to buy. There are many places where you can find stunning pieces that won’t break the bank while not requiring you to compromise on quality. This article lists 21 websites that sell affordable, high quality artworks. You can also explore the wide variety available on, where vendors are average people who have decided to share some of their extraordinary talents.


Towns and cities often have art festivals throughout the year, and it’s worth peeking in to local galleries to further your education on art as well as pick up originals by up-and-coming artists whose works are within your budget. Become a frequent visitor to estate sales and flea markets. It is even possible to find decent artwork at thrift stores and discount stores if you search a little.




While you can certainly fall in love with a mass-produced piece (they are, after all, mass-produced because they seem to be universally appealing), there is a certain thrill in owning an original, unique work. It might also fit within your budget to commission a piece from an artist that will be able to take your desires into consideration.


How It Fits in Your Home


Size, color, and shape are also considerations when you are working to curate artwork on your walls. Pieces have more impact if they are proportionate to the wall on which they are to be hung. Smaller canvases have impact when they are grouped together. You can use colors within the artwork to choose colors for the walls and furniture, or you can choose pieces according to how they fit into your existing décor.


Don’t be afraid to move your art around your home or on the walls to find the most pleasing configurations. When your collection expands beyond your ability to display it all at once, be sure to store it in a way that will not cause damage. You can rotate your collection as the mood strikes.

How to Choose the Right Wall Color to Showcase Your Art Collection

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You don’t buy or create art in order to hide it away. When a piece speaks to you, putting it on display so you can continually enjoy the visual beauty, sensations, and emotions it evokes is only proper. By carefully considering the background color of walls in your home, you can more easily draw attention to one or more pieces in order to showcase and enhance its qualities.




Gallery walls have traditionally been painted in neutrals—most often whites or off-whites. But while some museums are choosing to switch things up in order to better present particular art styles and eras, a neutral background is still a great way to showcase a private collection at home.

Neutral colors do not show up on a color wheel, so they do not interfere or clash with other colors. White, black, and gray (along with all their gradations) are neutrals. We also think of light browns, beige, or taupe as neutrals.

When you have many different types of artwork—paintings, drawings, photographs, collages, etc.—a neutral wall color can provide a uniform background that unites many artwork colors, styles, and genres. In contrast, pieces that are themselves in neutral colors (a series of black and white photographs, for instance) could look boring and unassuming against a neutral backdrop.


Matching Colors to the Piece(s)


Focal pieces or a collection of similar pieces (a series of related pieces by one artist, for instance) stand out against a wall color that has been pulled from the piece itself. Select one of the colors from the piece and use it on the walls.

A variation of matching the wall color to one of the colors in a piece is to use a shade or tint of that color (a shade is a color with a bit of black added, and a tint is a color with a bit of white added: think of the strips of colors on sample paint chips).


Complementary Colors


Complementary colors are opposites on the color wheel, and the use of a complementary backdrop creates a striking juxtaposition that serves to draw the eye to a colorful piece. As an example, a painting with a great deal of orange in it will pop against a wall painted a soft blue.


Historical Colors


When displaying pieces from a particular era, many museums are turning to background colors that were common from that era. You can use this idea in your own home. If the color you choose would be overwhelming if applied to all walls, consider using it only on focal walls.

If you plan to rotate your collection frequently, you might choose to keep walls fairly neutral and confine brighter colors to a few focal walls throughout your space. When you rotate pieces out of your current display, be sure to store them correctly for optimal preservation. Museo Vault offers top-quality fine art storage facilities and other services in Southern Florida. Visit our Homepage for more information.

Things to Consider When Framing Your Paper Art

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Art on paper—drawings, etchings, watercolors, gouaches, woodblocks, lithographs, pastels, engravings, photographs, or silkscreens—require excellent protection in order to keep them pristine for years to come. Carefully consider how you will frame your paper art, and do not skimp on protecting your investment with quality materials.



Frames should always enhance the artwork. In addition, you should like the frame, as you are going to be looking at it frequently.

If you are unsure of yourself when it comes to choosing the right frame, professional framers are a great resource for helping you narrow down the selection, including the material out of which it is made, the color, and the simplicity or ornateness of the style. Remember, however, that advice is advice, and if you do not like a particular frame, do not let yourself be talked into buying it.


Some ways you can narrow down your choices are to consider the artwork as it relates to the frame:

  • You can juxtapose simple, stark art with a more ornate frame for balance
  • Choose a frame color from out of the colors in the piece
  • Dark wood warms crisp images often found in modern art
  • To fully showcase the art, choose a barely-there frame
  • Match the frame’s style to the period of art you are framing
  • If possible, ask the artist what type of frame would best suit the piece
  • Enhance rich colors, textures, or subject with a rich frame



Matting provides a sturdy support for paper art and keeps it from rolling or tearing. Matting can be single or double, in any color, and made from several different materials. For the most color variety, choose a wood-pulp mat. These are the least expensive mats, though if they are acid-neutralized and lignen-free, they can last for years.

Picture Frame White With Card Insert, Clipping Path For Window

Cotton fiber mats will protect expensive works of art in perpetuity and are three to four times more expensive than high-quality wood-pulp mats. You will never need to replace a cotton fiber mat as long as it remains undamaged, but you will have to settle for neutral or subdued colors.


Glass or Plexiglass (Acrylic) Coverings

To prevent dust and dirt from damaging your artwork, frame it with glass or plexiglass for extra protection. Paper art should never be allowed to touch a glass or Plexiglass covering (which is where the matting becomes especially functional).

While either glass or acrylic will do the job, there are some advantages and disadvantages to each.

Transparent Glass Plates. Transparency Only In Vector File

Pros of Glass

  • Less expensive than Plexiglass
  • Comes in four types: clear, non-reflective, conservation (filters 99% of UV rays), and museum (eliminates 99% of UV rays and is 85% non-reflective)
  • Can’t be easily scratched
  • Does not build up static electricity


Cons of Glass

  • Can shatter
  • Is heavy, which can make it unwieldy for larger pieces


Pros of Plexiglass (Acrylic)

  • 1/3 lighter than glass, which makes it more ideal for large pieces
  • Less reflective than glass
  • Shatter-resistant


Cons of Plexiglass

  • Twice as expensive as glass
  • Can be scratched
  • Can build up static electricity, which can pull certain art mediums off the paper, such as charcoal, graphite, or pastels

Beautifully framed art enhances a home and allows you to enjoy each piece any time you wish.

Storage Solutions for Small Art Collections

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Even collectors with small art collections need safe and secure storage options when the need arises.

The vast majority of art lovers never end up collecting a gallery’s worth of pieces. Instead, their collections consist of beloved paintings, prints, or 3D pieces that can fit comfortably into their homes to be enjoyed day after day. For those who have the space and the resources, small art collectors might also dedicated a room or rooms in their living spaces as a home gallery to specifically showcase these pieces.

But there are situations in which a small collection might need another safe and secure temporary home. These might be:

  • During a move
  • When homeowners leave the state or country on extended trips
  • When hurricanes or other inclement weather threatens to make landfall directly in your area
  • During an extensive home remodel, when dust and debris might damage the pieces
  • When you are preparing for a gallery showing and wish to have all the pieces easily accessible

Preparing Artwork for Storage

Because your collection is small, it is more likely that you will be able to prepare the pieces for storage on your own or with the help of friends and family.

First, gather the materials you need to safely store your art pieces:

  • Acid-free paper or boards for canvases and prints, framed or unframed
  • Clean, dry cloths that cover pieces
  • A storage rack or shelving unit
  • A climate-controlled storage area in which to house the pieces
  • Thicker blankets or materials to use as padding

Second, make sure your hands are clean and remove all jewelry to prevent accidental scratching. Be sure to handle only one piece at a time.

For temporary storage, framed and unframed canvases can be wrapped with clean, light cloths or padding to prevent dust buildup before being stacked upright in a art storage rack. You can also use bubble wrap, being careful to lay a piece of acid-free paper between the front of the canvas and the wrap. Tape the bubble wrap closed. 3D pieces can also be covered with a cloth to prevent dust buildup and set on open shelving or on the floor. NEVER place art pieces directly on a concrete floor; instead, use heavy padding as a layer between the concrete and the art pieces.

For long-term storage—or when you are storing your pieces to protect them from possible damage due to incoming hurricanes or tropical storms—it’s best to invest in renting a unit at a storage facility that specializes in art storage. Such facilities are often able to pack up your art pieces, move them safely, and unpack them into the storage facility for an additional fee. The units are humidity- and temperature-controlled to prevent mold and mildew growth as well as prevent stress on the pieces themselves. In addition, a highly rated art storage facility is built to withstand fire, flooding, and wind damage.

Small but valuable collections deserve the same respect and care that large collections do. For art lovers who maintain a small but personally precious collection, investing in the right types of storage materials and spaces will pay dividends as your pieces maintain their value over time. Museo Vault is a top-rated art storage facility that also offers other art services to clients. Visit our Homepage now to get more information about our facility and other services today.