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Ripped Oil Painting Didn’t Need An Earthquake To Fall Off The Wall.

Posted · 109 Comments

Last week, at the Laguna Arts Festival Lecture series (http://bit.ly/pVVE6C), I spoke as the visiting expert about how to protect and save collectibles, artwork etc. Some of the things we talked about included protecting and saving items from

Well, yesterday, someone’s disaster walked through my front door. A valuable vintage painting’s wire broke and the oil painting on canvas hit the edge of a table and here’s what you get… a 6 inch x 18 inch “L” shapped rip and flaking paint.

Damage caused when hanging wire broke

Damaged caused when the oil painting's hanging wire broke

Look at the back of the painting's rip

The reverse side of the painting with the rip, caused by the hanging wire breaking

Remember, the weakest link in the chain is the one that breaks and causes the damage. The parts that ALL NEED TO BE REMEMBERED for hanging an oil painting on the wall are:

  • Quality and large eye hangers that hold the wire.
  • Thick wire, preferable plastic coated
  • Nail in wall hits a stud. If not, use a multi nail hanger made for drywall.
  • Use the largest hanger possible
  • Use Museum Wax in the lower two corners to anchor the painting against the wall and so it won’t “jump” off the hook when things start to shake.

“Overkill” is the operative word here. Remember, you are designing this to withstand an earthquake… or your grandkids! You do the math; be a good curator of your collection or mishaps like the one in the photo above are $4,300.00 to fix perfect.

Questions” Call Scott at 805 564 3438

Art appraisal questions? Call Richard at 805 895 5121

Also see http://www.fineartconservationlab.com

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109 Responses to "Ripped Oil Painting Didn’t Need An Earthquake To Fall Off The Wall."
  1. Jessica L. Davis says:

    Oh my God! Such a nice painting and totally destroyed! Is it possible to repair that one on the photo?

    I am also collecting modern art and I have never imagined that this type of accident could happen.

    Thank you for bringing this to my attention.

    J.

  2. Its really bad to see such a nice painting getting ruined coz of a stupid wire!!

    I think the phrase ‘A stitch in time saves nine’ fits here perfectly. I personally, being an ardent art admirer and collector can understand how it feels to have something so beautiful and exquisite getting wasted!

  3. Daniel Patrick says:

    Wow really very nice paintings and you have discussed real problems that we face often and I am really interested in art and painting and I really like your post and suggest you to please share your experience

  4. Ellen Javin says:

    Yes this article very helpful. We furnish homes and offices and put up frames items on the walls all the time. I really never thought about the quality of the hooks etc. Wow, I was really missing the point and I’m feeling bad now that maybe all those people we hung paintings for might be in trouble. Thank you for share this post.

    • Scott says:

      Ellen, I’m glad you’ve “seen the light.” Perhaps this is a business opportunity for you to reconnect with your past clients? Call them and tell them that you had a consultant tell you about upgrades available to secure hanging art better. Then sell them the service to go in an upgrade their hardware. It might give you the chance to chat it up about other furnishing also!
      Good luck.

  5. All too often old paintings are hung with shaky wires! I always try to point this out to clients. It’s such a shame to see something like this happen to fine art.

    • Scott says:

      Thanks for your comment Kathy. I was in Houston a short time ago working with the murals at TSU! I’m sure you see lots of condition problems as an appraiser. Good tip to everyone: Take good care of your collectibles and memorabilia as someday, the condition will have a huge impact on the appraisal value.

  6. That’s a nice painting and now its value has been compromised… but thanks to you, not destroyed!. I have a couple of oil paintings in my house and now I will “overkill” the ropes and hangers so that this will not happen to my collections
    Denise
    Attorney

  7. Well, it’s a good thing for me that all of the art hanging on my walls are just prints. My husband is a painter but never hangs any of his work up for some strange reason. Unless a painting is a commissioned piece, he just stacks all of his finished canvasses on top of each other against the wall of his studio! As mentioned in a previous comment, it’s good to know how to properly hang art for future reference.

  8. James Brown says:

    Nice post.. Restoring a painting is totally Big Big help to Art Industry. Because you maintain the value of the paintings.

  9. Esha says:

    It breaks my heart to see thing like this Scott. My grandma had a ripped painting inside an old chest in her house. After she passed away we found that painting and asked around to see if it was worth anything. We soon found out the painting was worth more than 10,000 dollars, but since it was in such a poor condition was sold for less than 1000. I don’t remember the name of the artist because it happened when I was small.

  10. Jenna says:

    Nice post which It spoken as the visiting expert about how to protect and save collectibles, artwork etc. Some of the things we talked about included protecting and saving items from storage problems. Thanks a lot for posting this article.

  11. Sevgi Sözleri says:

    Yes this article very helpful. We furnish homes and offices and put up frames items on the walls all the time.

  12. Anlamli Sözler says:

    Yes this article very helpful. We furnish homes and offices and put up frames items on the walls all the time.

  13. Great job restoring that painting. It was completely destroyed. I work with the local art community in my town and we see things like this all the time.

  14. Gej says:

    That’s a nice painting but its value was compromised… but thanks to you guys, not destroyed!. I have a number of oil paintings in my house and from now on I will “overkill” on using the hanging wires and hangers in order that this will not happen to my collection.

  15. Houston says:

    Superb post. As quickly as I noticed this site I went on reddit to share some of the love with them.

  16. Jenna says:

    Sad. Good thing that there are no kids when the painting fall from the weak hinges or else someone will be hurt.

  17. Emily Jordan says:

    Good post. This is a very clear, informative and helpful post. Thanks for sharing. I’ll take a look at all our paintings and how they are hung.

  18. Isabel Panks says:

    Like what the others said, its good post. I think its time to thinking about and paying more attention to our collection care techniques.

  19. Kemskiy says:

    As far as I know, the best way to save paintings is making copies for galleries and saving originals in storages

  20. James says:

    I really like the information you offer in your article. It makes sense. Thanks for the tips on protecting my artwork.

  21. Henry Mayfield says:

    Thanks for these excellent tips on how to protect artwork.

  22. obat varises says:

    yahhh torn painting,, unfortunately 🙁

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