Preventive Conservation: For Paintings on Canvas in Storage and in Exhibition

Collection care integrates the principles of preventive conservation, collections management, and sustainable practices in order to preserve cultural heritage and the environment for future generations.  Sustainability is now being incorporated into conservation endeavors.  In addition, to consider the interaction of artworks in response to the environment, conservation must consider the production, use and disposal of materials used in our practice. We must be aware of our impact on pollution and waste, and implement more sustainable practices—reduce, recycle, and reuse.

Standard museum crates are expensive and often overbuilt for van travelling.  The travel box, for packing and handling paintings on canvas, grew out of the need to incorporate sustainable practices into preventive conservation. The back of the painting is attached to the travel box and the free space between the edge of the travel box and the painting around the face and sides makes it possible to pack and unpack with very little handling and direct contact. Conservation-grade materials—Ethafoam and Volara—are added to the bottom of the box to absorb shock and vibration, and Coroplast covers the front and back of the travel box.

The travel box is especially useful for fragile and over-size modern and contemporary paintings that are prone to damage due to mishandling.

The following diagrams illustrate the construction of the travel box, the clips used to secure the painting, and the locking and handling hardware. The travel box can be placed inside a crate for air travel.  It can be streamlined for temporary storage, shipping, and safe handling.

Travel Box
Travel Box

Secure Oz-Clips
Secure the painting with Oz-clips to the travel box

Unscrewing Wing Nuts
Un-screwing the wing nuts to release the painting from the travel box. The Oz-clips remainn attached to the back of the painting and can be unfolded so not to be seen when the painting is on display.

Feather Painting

Back of painting
The travel box can be used as temporary storage.

Two Painting Travel Box
Two Painting Travel Box: Each painting is secured with Oz-clips to each face of the travel box. There is an ample gap between the paintings, avoiding any surface contact between them.

Two Painting Travel Box
Two Painting Travel Box: Each painting is secured with Oz-clips to each face of the travel box. There is an ample gap between the paintings, avoiding any surface contact between them. The locking system provides proper enclosure of the travel box. The handles enable lifting/handling.

Exhibition Preparation
Exhibition Preparation

Hanging Travel Box
The travel box can be hung on vertical storage racks.