artist ships artwork in package with padding and bubble wrap

Guide to Safely Shipping Artwork: Tips for Artists and Galleries

Shipping artwork safely is essential for artists and galleries to ensure that valuable pieces of art arrive at their destinations undamaged.

To ship artwork safely: 1. Use quality packaging materials like bubble wrap, cardboard, and sturdy boxes. 2. Purchase insurance for added protection. 3. Label as "FRAGILE" or "HANDLE WITH CARE." 4. Consider eco-friendly shipping options like USPS. Prioritize safety and professionalism.

Explore our curated selection of contemporary artists from around the globe.

Naturalist Gallery offers artist representation internationally. Apply your art.

We've compiled a comprehensive guide to help you select the right packaging materials and shipping methods for your artworks.

properly packaging each artwork

Step 1: Understanding the Variables and Importance of Proper Packaging Each piece of art presents unique challenges, and external factors like weather and package handling during transit can impact the condition of your artwork. To minimize risks, careful packaging and smart selection of shipping carriers are crucial.

considering mounting, size, and insurance when shipping an artwork
Step 2: Key Considerations When Packaging Artwork Consider the following factors when preparing to ship your artwork:
  1. Mounting: Ship mounted canvases in boxes and unmounted canvases in tubes.
  2. Size: Select appropriate padded mailers, corrugated cardboard boxes, or crating based on artwork size.
  3. Insurance: Purchase insurance to protect against loss or damage during transit.
  4. Volume: For shipping multiple artworks, consider setting up recurring shipments with consolidated freight shippers to reduce costs and streamline the process.

artists ensure they have the materials needed to ship their work to buyers

Step 3: Materials and Preliminary Preparations Ensure you have the right packaging materials, including scissors, tape measure, gloves, packing paper, bubble wrap, cardboard corner protectors, and sturdy boxes or mailers. Sanitize your workspace, measure the artwork, and take photos from all angles to document its condition before shipment.

sculptures sit on a counter as they are prepared to be packaged and shipped

Step 4: Protective Packaging for Artwork Properly wrap your artwork in archival-quality glassine paper or acid-free tissue paper to prevent damage. Add bubble wrap or cling film for extra cushioning and use cardboard corner protectors for added protection. Double-pack your artwork with internal cardboard padding to absorb shocks and protect against external impacts.

finding a suitable package for shipping artwork

Step 5: Packaging the Artwork Select an appropriately sized box or mailer to fit your internal packaging. Fill the extra space with eco-friendly bubble wrap to act as a shock absorber and prevent movement during transit. Tape the box securely and label it as "FRAGILE" or "HANDLE WITH CARE" to alert the carriers.

shipping artwork in tubes

Shipping Artwork in Tubes: If shipping prints or rolled artwork, use premium paper tubes and secure them with packing tape. Clearly label the tube as "FRAGILE – DO NOT BEND."

UPS Driver delivering packaged artwork

Courier Options for Shipping Artwork: Major carriers like UPS, FedEx, and USPS offer suitable shipping options for artwork. Consider the weight, dimensions, and distance of the package to determine the best service. Request quotes, check for size restrictions, and purchase insurance for added protection.

USPS truck shipping artwork

Cost-Effective Shipping Options: USPS often provides cost-effective shipping for smaller pieces, while larger artworks might require freight services. Declaring value will add to shipping costs. Utilize recycled materials and consider purchasing carbon offsets for eco-friendly shipping.

artist measures an artwork before finding suitable packaging to ship it

View limited edition prints by contemporary artists at Naturalist Gallery.

Shipping artwork safely requires careful planning, quality packaging materials, and attention to detail. By following the steps outlined in this guide, artists and galleries can improve the odds of their artwork arriving at its destination in pristine condition. Remember that while damage can occur despite best efforts, insurance and professional handling can mitigate potential losses. Always prioritize safety, professionalism, and efficiency when shipping your precious creations.

art studio after shipping artwork upon sale

You may also find the following articles helpful:

Top Online Art Galleries

How to Start Selling Your Fine Art

Open Calls: Maximizing Art Opportunities

How to Sell Art on Consignment: 12 Tips for New Sellers

How to Write an Artist Resume: All Parts with Examples

10 Tips and Tricks for Maximizing Your Art Sales

The Art Gallery: Everything You Need To Know

How to Become a Successful Artist

How to Get Your Work in a Gallery

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