December 15th, 2008

Michael Kessler, “Negatron”, 15″ x 39″, 2008

Do you have a Pablo Picasso ceramic or William Morris glass work on your art collection “dream list”? Most of us will never be able to afford top hammer prices for original works of art, but we dream nonetheless.

I’ve recently come upon an interesting website that just may allow your collection dreams to come true! Fine Art Rescue showcases art pieces that have seen better times. Damaged by accidental piercings, smoke, water, fire, and varying insect munches (and now repaired), these paintings and sculptures are available for sale in their restored condition. This is a bargain-hunter’s dream if said hunter is willing to invest in previously damaged, restored artwork.

When an insured piece of art is badly damaged, the insurance company pays the claim and then becomes the owner of the work. If the work can be rescued Fine Art Rescue will buy the piece and resell it to the public, allowing the insurance company to close their claim file. And that’s when prospective art buyers swoop in.

Sometimes minor scratches can mar the work, decreasing the value of a work of art. But for others, this only adds to the value and provenance of the piece. Someone may see fire-singed works by Warhol as “damaged,” while a another collector will mount and frame them, enjoying them as a new work of art. In a different example, a water stained piece can be artfully framed to cover up all of the tidemarks. If you are considering purchasing a damaged work, research the “non-damaged” price, and request numerous photos and descriptions from the seller.

Experience your work art damage? Move slowly, take all precautions, and ask an expert. A quick link to view tools and insights in your own damage disaster: Art Resoration. And here is a local resource for art conservation: Master Art Restore. A few years ago, here in Park City, a prominant art collector experienced a major house fire. Sadly, many items were badly damaged. The silver lining was the collector’s evaluations and appraisals of his art collection. Take time to keep your valued items insured properly, and always keep your records in a location outside of your home.