Climate is one of the most important considerations that an art collector, art museum, or art gallery must think about when it comes to the storage of their artwork. An unstable climate with fluctuating temperatures or humidity can cause serious damage to artwork of various mediums. This damage can not only lower the monetary value of an artwork, but it can also ruin the visual beauty and integrity of the object.

Maintaining a consistent environment with the appropriate temperature and humidity levels can help an artwork remain in excellent condition for years to come, allowing people from future generations to love, enjoy, and learn from the objects in the same way as the people before them. Rebecca Shearier, A2’s Director of Registration, warns that “an inconsistent environment can cause considerable deterioration and damage to an artwork. It can cause premature aging, ruin the object, and cause a myriad of different types of damage. It’s very dangerous for the artwork.”

Museums consistently set the highest standard when it comes to taking care of their artwork. It is their responsibility to keep artwork safe for hundreds of years after the item enters their collection. In museums, it is generally recommended that their collection be stored in a consistent and clean environment that is 70 degrees F, 50% Relative Humidity (RH) with regularly refreshed air, and minimal fluctuations in the climate. At A2, we have worked diligently to build a system that maintains and surpasses these standards throughout our entire building. 

“We did a lot of research, visited museums from all over the country, consulted with museum professionals and asked them for their art storage wish list,” said Shearier. “We have a museum-trained professional on staff and since the objective is to store art, we can focus our resources on the maintenance of our facility and these standards.” 

Here at A2, we set up our entire system with one thing in mind: How can we keep art safe? When it comes to climate, we have left no stone unturned. Each room of art storage space is kept at a stable 70 degrees F (+/ – 3) and 50% Relative Humidity (RH) (+/ – 3) all year around. This climate composition establishes a constant atmosphere that safeguards your art from developing the types of damage that are typically associated with art being stored in an uncontrolled environment such as an attic, basement, or other sub-par storage situation. Subpar storage situations such as these can cause mold, mildew, rust, stains, cracks, discoloration, as well as a myriad of additional types of damage. 

In addition to our climate standards, every room is individually zoned and kept clean with an advanced vapor barrier between each storage room. This system is set up to protect every room from allowing in any possible contamination that may have the opportunity to enter the facility. Our building is outfitted with a high-quality HVAC system that exchanges the air in every storage room, every 90 minutes with an additional 3-hour exchange rate for the rest of the building. This guarantees that any possibility of contamination in the air within each storage room is vastly diminished. Our HVAC system is remotely monitored 24/7 by A2 employees with a weekly readout available upon request. It is important to us and our clients that their art is protected at all times of the day, and we are here to ensure that we always maintain a constant environment for your art. 

A2’s stand alone, owner-operated building is outfitted with a back-up diesel generator that has the ability to support all of our systems in the event of a power outage. This ensures that no matter what happens outside, our building is set up to protect every piece of art we have inside – because that’s what matters.

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