A Guide to Shipping Fine Art from the US to Israel

 (photo credit: INGIMAGE)
(photo credit: INGIMAGE)
Shipping fine art is never easy, especially when it goes to shipping it internationally. This process is both a science and an art and requires a lot of rational planning at every stage. Here are some tips and tricks that may come in handy when shipping paintings or other valuables from the US to Israel or vice versa.
A guide to shipping fine art from the US to Israel

The essential part of the art transportation process is packaging. You should pay particular attention to the way your artwork is packed as it may prevent it from being damaged in transit. Proper packaging protects fine art from tears, smudges, breakages, and environmental conditions, as well as from stains, fingers, chemicals, and dampness. So, where to start?
1. Take measurements
Whether it comes to shipping paintings or any other pieces of art, you are supposed to know both the weight and the dimensions of your items. Not only do you need them to select the right packing materials and boxes, but your art shipping company needs to know the measurements of your pieces to provide you with an accurate shipping cost.
2. Prepare the needed supplies
Art packing supplies depend on the type and size of the artwork you are going to ship, but in most cases, you will need the following:
  • Measuring tape (needed for measuring the size of your artwork, shipping box, crate, etc.);
  • Packing tape or tape gun (can be used to fix boxes and bundles);
  • Artist tape (it can be easily removed, and it does not leave sticky residue);
  • Glassine paper (water- and grease-resistant paper for wrapping);
  • A blanket or foam (for softness);
  • Bubble wrap (for padding);
  • A pair of scissors;
  • Durable cardboard boxes.
3. Cover unframed artwork with glassine paper
If you are shipping an unframed artwork, you need to wrap it in acid-free glassine paper to protect against dust and moisture. The paper is supposed to cover all sides and edges of the item. Use artist tape to secure the wrapping. Glassine paper is also used when rolling several paintings for shipping in a single tube. In such a case, sheets of glassine paper are put between the paintings before rolling. Keep in mind that art pieces of different sizes should be transported separately, facing the same direction (face up or face down). Finally, secure the roll with a strip of artist tape.
4. Protect the glass
If you are shipping framed art, tape the glass with several strips of artist tape in a star pattern (for example, put two X shapes in the center). As an alternative, you can wrap your framed painting with cling film. In that way, even if the glass is broken during transportation, it won’t come loose and rip or puncture the surface of the painting.
5. Protect the corners
The corners of both the art piece and the frame are especially susceptible to damage. To protect them in transit, utilize special cardboard corner protectors and carefully secure them with artist tape.
6. Wrap your art
The next step is to wrap each piece in several layers of bubble wrap to provide more protection to the surfaces. Make sure everything is completely covered with bubbles. Pay extra attention to the edges and corners. Once everything is done, tape all seams of the bubble wrap with packing tape. If your artwork is going to be placed in a mailing tube, it is even more important to wrap it properly.
7. Choose the right shipping container
If you are going to ship a large artwork, you will need a wooden art crate. Otherwise, utilize a triple-wall corrugated cardboard box. In case your items are unusual in shape, opt for custom-built shipping crates for added protection. A custom crate is adapted to accommodate items of any size and shape. You may also use a blanket or foam inside the box or crate for softness.
8. Purchase art insurance
Despite the necessary precautions you take to protect fine art pieces during transportation from the US to Israel, there is always a chance of an accident or emergency. No one knows what may happen in transit, so it is always better to purchase special art shipping insurance and be fully prepared to deal with contingencies.
9. Hire professionals
When shipping such precious objects as art and antiques, it is enormously essential not to take unnecessary risks and get professional help. True experts in handling and shipping fine art, such as the NYC-based company Fine Art Shippers, understand the value of your possessions and how fragile they are, and, therefore, provide professional services to ensure your cargo is safe at every step of the transportation.
Consider all of the above tips, and the process of shipping fine art from the US to Israel will appear to be a much more enjoyable experience.