Shipping goods of any sort provide unique challenges based on the nature of the item(s) being packaged. An item that often requires specific attention and care, more so than other items, is artwork. Art is unique because pieces are often irreplaceable; and for this reason, they hold extensive value. Because art is not limited to rectangular paintings, processing valuable pieces such as sculptures or statues prove to be tedious work and may require the assistance of a professional. Additionally, the processes of shipping artwork must be done with care due to the potential sentimental value the art holds to the artist or the recipient. Since art differs dramatically between time periods cultures, it plays a crucial role in defining and shaping groups of people throughout time. For these reasons, it is very important that when shipping art around the world, it is maintained in its original form so that the true meanings can be communicated as best as possible.
No matter the monetary value of a piece of artwork, there is always a level of sentimental value. For this reason, the careful shipping and handling of packaged artwork are imperative; however, packaging and processing pieces in this manner isn’t always easy due to the vast forms that art can come in. There are many defining limitations that make this work incredibly demanding; these obstacles may include, but are not limited to, delicateness, weight, shape, and/or material. For these reasons, it is recommended that someone hire a professional to take care of the packaging and shipping; this way the likelihood that the art will experience damage or corruption of any sort drops dramatically due to the training and skill of the professional that does that sort of work for a living. Because there are unlimited forms of art, there are also unlimited needs of packaging; however, unfortunately, there are limited methods of shipping. Due to the infinite artwork schemes, some can only be processed in a specific manner. For example, the type of packaging material needed to ship a Chihuly glass sculpture differs dramatically from the materials needed for a large Chuck Close portrait. There is likely an ideal way for each piece of art to be shipped; therefore, the aid of a professional is helpful because they would be able to guide the shipper in the direction that would get the artwork to the desired destination with minimal risk of damage.
The delicate processing of artwork is also important because of the meaning it may hold to the artist or the recipient. For this reason, careful shipping and handling are essential. Different from other items of value, art is often irreplaceable; therefore, the monetary and sentimental values are sometimes incalculable. Art is often passed from hand-to-hand a multitude of times before it reaches a place of long-term ownership; this requires artwork to complete the shipping processes on numerous occasions, making it difficult for the original owner or the artist to keep track of its whereabouts. The artist relies on the proper shipping methods of others to ensure that their work is adequately protected; this is a high level of trust to place in a lot of different people. Between auctions, galleries, museums, and individual collectors, a piece of art is highly valued in unique ways by each owner; however, no one values the artwork more than the creator. Shipping their work in an appropriate way ensures that the quality of work is maintained; knowing that the time, effort, and creative ability put into the formulation of the piece is preserved, is likely extremely important to the artist and to the recipients.
Art is also unique because it transcends time and cultures. Even long after the artist is gone, their art should remain. However, the art only can last for long periods of time if it is adequately cared for during its travels. Art is one of the oldest types of relics that historians use to learn about time periods long ago that left minimal records of their existences’. Because art is often cryptic and open to interpretation, to observers it may be like an unsolved puzzle that has unlimited solutions. Art has the capability of telling stories; however, these stories make the biggest impact when shared across the world. The transportation of artwork, whether it is from modern times or not, shares ideas, customs, and the aspects of daily life of other cultures. Obviously, in modern times, there are many other ways that these cultural elements are communicated around the world due to the developments of social media and the widespread, instant travel of news; yet artwork continues to be made. Because art is unique to each global region, the shipping of the artwork allows for the spread of knowledge and new ideas that certain places or cultures are unaccustomed to. Unfortunately, these ideas cannot be effectively communicated internationally if the artwork isn’t thoroughly protected during the shipping processes. The globalization of products plays an important role in American life and has for a long time. Isolationism has never been an option for America and rarely is for other countries. Due to foreign relations and the multitude of art forms, America receives new pieces of art that are distributed across the country every single day. The historical and cultural significance of art makes it crucial for vigilant and meticulous shipping.
The shipment process of artwork is unique relative to the processes of other items due to the endless types of art and due to the significance that each piece may possess. Many pieces of art cannot be recreated, and therefore, obtain a virtue that eclipses through generations and societies. Without the appropriate, professional shipping of artwork, it may not be able to cross these spatial and temporal barriers and have the impact that artwork has to human life every day.