Three Things You Need To Do After Inheriting An Art Collection

If you've recently been fortunate enough to inherit a loved one's fine art collection, you've probably already given some thought to where the individual pieces will fit into your home. However, it's also possible that the collection simply doesn't pair well with your personal decor preferences and overall style, and if that's the case, you may be wondering what you can do with the collection. Fine art holds too much value to be donated to a charity thrift shop, and you may also feel that trying to sell it yourself will put you in way over your head — after all, unless you're an art expert, pricing individual pieces or the collection as a whole is likely to be out of your wheelhouse. Here's what you need to do after inheriting an art collection.

Find Appropriate and Safe Storage for the Collection

The first step you need to take after inheriting an art collection is to find a controlled fine arts storage unit to keep it in so that it won't become damaged. Fine art can't simply be stowed in an attack or garage until the time comes to find a buyer for it — doing so for any length of time poses a considerable risk that the art will be damaged to the extent that it's worth very little on the market. Each individual piece must be wrapped in a storage blanket, but more importantly, the temperature and humidity in the storage space must be consistent. Experts agree that the ideal conditions for fine art storage include temperatures of 70 degrees Fahrenheit and humidity levels of 55%.

To learn more, contact a controlled fine art storage facility. However, before taking prepping the art for storage and physically placing it in the unit, you need to do the following two things.

Go Through the Collection and Choose Any Pieces You Want to Keep

Once you've decided on a storage plan, go through the collection and choose the pieces, if any, that you would like to keep for yourself or offer to another friend or relative of the deceased. Even if the collection isn't your style or the style of other close friends and relatives, certain pieces may have sentimental value.

Have the Pieces Appraised

An appraisal should be the final step before having the collection placed in storage pending your decision on how to move forward with finding it a new home. This will help you make your final decision regarding the collection. Options include selling the collection as a whole, selling individual pieces, and donating it all to a museum or other nonprofit.