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What Are Condition Reports?

Condition Reports document the condition of an artwork at a certain time and place, much like the check done to a rental car or property before liability for damage is handed over.

These important documents serve several purposes, the main one being :

➔ To have a legal record in case of damage to an artwork indicating who is liable, what the damage is and when it took place.

Stop Damage Before It Occurs

Damage to an artwork can be expensive to restore and can have a negative impact on the value even after restoration. Having this type of documentation in place can help prevent damage from occurring at all, because the report itself serves as a very useful reminder to the liable party, i.e. a shipper, framer, storage service or gallery, that they are responsible for the care of the work, that the condition is well documented so even minor damage will be noticed, and that they are accountable should anything go wrong.

Museum Loans & Preservation

For private collectors with museum quality pieces who loan for exhibitions, condition reports are often a requirement of the loan agreement, and this is increasingly the case. Artwork of this calibre should be accompanied by in-depth documentation in any case due to the both the financial value and cultural significance of the work. A condition report will alert the collector or collection manager if there is damage that requires restoration, or an emerging issue that might be solved through better storage conditions. An artwork in poor condition cannot be exhibited and enjoyed, and will be less valuable, often significantly.

Restoration practices cannot deal with all types of damage and will often not bring an artwork back to mint condition. Preservation (protection of the work from major damage occurring in the first place) is by far the best strategy for a collector.

A Smoother Claims Process & Theft Protection

If you do ever need to make an insurance claim for your artwork, having a thorough and up- to- date condition report of the work will make the claims process much smoother. Importantly, if theft should occur, insurance providers warn that recovering an artwork that has not been properly documented is very difficult if not impossible. A condition report provides physical evidence used to help identify stolen artwork.

Condition Reports for Your Collection

If you would like to have condition reports done for your collection, contact Articheck.

We can produce the condition reports for you, by utilising our international network of reputable conservators to send someone local to you, or provide software and training for faster, better condition reports by your in-house team.