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Yellow April Flower with Black and Gold Floral Center

DAMN! Damaged boxes! Claims for Damaged Work.

The life of the artist is soooo.... romantic, right? Today's post is an extra big reality bite. It's not always a pretty picture!

Livingroom a mess with 39 boxes 39 boxes were returned today from a wonderful exhibition at the Loveland Museum.  BUT . . . Damaged Boxes!  Aaarrgghhh! Before I go further...... let's review and make this a learning experience.  

The exhibition at the Loveland Museum was a tremendous opportunity. It was also a huge amount of work just to prepare all the materials prior to the exhibition. This includes photos, correspondence, Condition Reports, and putting all the work in shipping boxes.  It was two solid days of backbreaking work (for two people) just to DOUBLE BOX ALL THE WORK for shipping. Thank goodness all my work is double boxed... more later.


Alyson Stanfield and Harriete Estel Berman at the Loveland Museum
At the opening of my exhibition at the
Loveland Museum with Alyson Stanfield
Photo Credit: 
Alyson Stanfield

Going to the exhibition 
was the easy part.  The exhibition was beautifully installed! My lecture was well received. The museum graciously paid for me to fly out, lecture, and attend the opening and "walk through," etc. All that is great!

Driveway crushed box.

FLASH FORWARD.  THURSDAY, April 22, the 39 boxes return home. Shipping boxes are obviously crushed in! This is not a good sign.

Lesson #1 Use the Claims for Damaged Work in the Professional Guidelines for a tutorial on what needs to be done.

Inside TRUCK with damaged boxes Lesson #2.  As soon as the truck arrives start shooting photos. If the work turns out to be completely safe, you can delete the photos. In this case, however, I noticed damage to the boxes before they were even removed from the truck.

Driveway 17 crush bottom of another box. I photographed every box THAT  WAS DAMAGED as it came off the truck.

I informed the truck driver, to make sure he notices the damaged boxes also.  Be nice to the driver.  It's not his fault.

Photograph the boxes.

Did I say, Be polite and business like.

Driveway 16 crushed box Report damages to the shipping agent, shipping company, and the museum staff.  Six damaged boxes out of 39 is bad news!

Wait........stay tuned....I'll let you know what they say. Sometimes they want to look at the boxes before you open them. Sometimes they will say, go ahead and open the boxes to see if the work is damaged. Always be cautious and follow their instructions. If the work is damaged in transit, you want to be able to make a successful claim for damaged work.

Stay tuned!


P.S. I know some may wonder why my work is not in crates...but crates are heavy, real heavy, for shipping. Crates are also expensive and time-consuming to make and to store. Crates make it impossible for one person to carry a box.

These days with shipping costs so high, higher than ever, I try to keep the total shipping weight as low as possible. Shipping expenses are a concern for museums, exhibition spaces, galleries, and artists, too! Many times I can't be in a show if the museum can't cover the shipping. 

Custom made interior shipping boxes and double boxing for shipping is my answer.

What is your answer for shipping?