Decide in advance where the work will be moved to and ensure the entire path is safe and clear. Carry a painting with the image side facing you, and grasp both sides firmly rather than dangling the work from the top edge in one hand. Obtain assistance if the work is too large or heavy to move comfortably on your own. Further details are described in technical Note 10/13 from the Canadian Conservation Institute.
Carefully consider hanging location. Place the work in a location and at a height where it is unlikely to be accidentally contacted. A large painting placed beside a dining table, for example, invites accidental damage as chairs are moved back for that glass of port after dinner. Interior walls are generally preferable to exterior walls, particularly if they are poorly insulated.
Temporary and Long-term Storage
Pictures are more vulnerable to damage while removed from their display locations. If you lean an artwork against the wall, take precautions to ensure it does not slip or get knocked over. Avoid high traffic areas and pet and child accessible zones. Remove paintings from any area where renovation work is undertaken (it is not unusual to find wall paint spatter on the surface of painting!) and cover and seal works to protect from dust and other particulates. The back surface of a painting should be protected with an impact-resistant backing (see Conservation Framing>Protective backings). The same precautions apply to long-term storage areas. Flood-vulnerable areas such as basements, and areas without climate control such as attics, should never be used to store artworks.
Say No to Picture Lights
Picture lights fastened at the top of the picture frame are not recommended. A light source placed so close to the picture’s surface gives uneven illumination and depending on the type of lamp, may endanger the work with excess heat and light.
Soft, low, indirect ambient lighting is best. As an increasingly wide range of LED lamps becomes available, incandescent and fluorescent lights are becoming obsolescent, allaying previous concerns about heat and UV emissions. Avoid direct, strong light and heat sources, and be aware of the significant heat from incandescent lights, sunlight and fireplaces. Fluorescent lights emit significant ultraviolet radiation but may be filtered with special tube sleeves. If you have more artworks than wall space, consider a rotating display, which has the added benefit of mitigating light-induced damage.