So, an interesting question came up the other day. A friend of mine was looking at the move that awaits him, and knowing that I am in the business he called up and asked. Who is an art handler? The question is interesting because I am certain you have heard of this before, at least somewhere. An art handler. But a large number of people has NO IDEA what an art handler does. And that is fine because I had no clue myself before I got into the moving business. When I needed help with moving art I hired High Level Movers Toronto.
So, who is an art handler? What does he/she do? The answer is both simple and complex at the same time. In most cases, people who move rarely have extremely valuable art pieces they are moving. I am not saying there are no people out there that do, but it is not a common sight to see. On the off chance that you do have some valuable pieces of art that you need to move, amongst other belongings, you will definitely want to have some art handlers watching your back.
Who is an art handler?
Before we continue, we need to explain who these people are. To make it as simple as possible, art handlers are professionals that are trained to take care of fine art in museums and galleries, but also that of private owners, corporations and alike. Basically, who owns the art is irrelevant. If there is expensive art laying about and needs to be move from point A to point B, art handlers are the ones that are going to be handling it. As the name suggests.
This is a very complex and stressful job because these pieces of art can reach even astronomical values of half a million dollars and upwards. Any damage to the art can render it entirely worthless. And this is not an easy pressure to cope with.
What do they do, exactly?
Their tasks vary from art to art, and from location to location. But there are some tasks that all art handlers share. This is what they are good at, what they are trained for, and what makes them the professionals you want handling your fine art.
Some of the tasks that they all share are:
- Picking up and delivering various kinds of art, in all shapes and sizes. This can include fragile items, paintings and, in some cases, extremely large valuable sculptures.
- Provide the client with packing and crating services, since you cannot pack an expensive painting or a large sculpture as you would pack a couch or a toaster. The ways one pack and crates these is based on the material the art is made of, its size and how fragile it is (or isn’t).
- Provide guidance and participate in loading the art into a truck, as well as ensure safe transportation. Ultimately, participate in the unloading of the truck and bringing it to the final destination.
- Make a lot of documentation called “condition reports”. This means taking before and after pictures of the art and making sure it arrives in the same condition it was originally in.
- Take care of all bills and inventories as well as other critical paperwork that follows such expensive belongings.
- Be educated enough to understand the importance and value of what they are transporting. It’s not all about how to do it, it’s sometimes the WHY behind it.
Why you should consider hiring one
Basically, hiring a team of art handlers is very expensive. And for a good reason. Let us say that, hypothetically, you own a painting that is valued at about 500.000 USD. It is unique and one of a kind, meaning that aside from its financial value it has an even greater value. It holds historical value and in its uniqueness means that this is one of the only witnesses of its time. Ruining or damaging it would be like damaging a piece of history.
This is where it becomes not worth it to risk ruining it or damaging it. On the other side, if you can afford to own such an expensive piece of art, you can afford to hire a team of professionals to take care of it. In the long run, if you, god forbid, try to do it on your own you may succeed. We are not claiming your incompetence. What we are claiming is that, if something goes wrong, you might end up losing something of such incredible value that it proves to be not worth it.
If you cough up an extra amount of money to hire these professionals, you will surely make sure no harm comes to your precious paintings and/or sculptures. And trust us, it is highly worth it. In spite of how you are confident in your way of managing it. So play it safe. Don’t risk it. You won’t regret making such a decision. If you don’t know where to look for help ask local movers Toronto about moving valuable art.
In addition to this…
In addition to this, you may want to spread your connections in the art collectors world. Your future art handlers will have a very high level of education and connections. You surely won’t be the first or the last person hiring their professional services. Through them, you might get access to other people that share the same passion. This way you could expand your knowledge as well as the contact list. You may share experiences and interests, and who knows, you might even end up buying something new, or selling something old. Well, old is a figure of speech, but you get the gist. If you need some special moving services like moving a piano, see our recommendations that we prepared for you.