Misconceptions: Everything You Need to Know About Art Storage

August 22, 2018

As the demand for climate-controlled storage grows, more museums, institutions, collectors and fashion houses are in search of a facility that suits their distinctive needs. From archival collections that require a specialized environment to large sculptures that need certain spatial accommodations, you want a state-of-the-art facility that offers you convenient, customizable solutions.


In our last blog, FAQs: Everything You Need to Know About Art Storage, our industry experts shared their answers to the most frequently asked client questions concerning our facilities and services. By way of these questions, our experts have identified a few misconceptions that are important to address. Here are the most common misunderstandings people have about the art storage industry:


Should I store my art in a freeport?

Misconceptions about “freeports” —also called “foreign trade zones (FTZs)” or “free trade zones”—lead many to wrongfully believe that this is a service they need. The names may sound universally appealing, but the benefits of foreign trade zones are contingent upon where the facility is located.


Put simply, a freeport is a specially licensed zone that allows imports to avoid a country’s customs duties. However, in the US the vast majority of pieces of art are duty free and, therefore, there is no specific customs duty reduction or deferral benefit for these items if they are stored in an activated foreign trade zone in the United States. Artworks stored in free trade zones are still subject to sales and use tax set by the state where they are located.


FTZs have a significant impact on many drivers of the US economy, like the automotive industry and oil and gas, but their application to fine art storage in New York is negligible. In fact, our Founder, Steven Guttman, put considerable thought into turning UOVO into a foreign trade zone, but found that it offered no significant benefits for our clients.


Do I need specialized insurance to store my collection?

Our clients are required to have insurance as an additional safeguard against their items. Obtaining art insurance is easy, especially because your current insurance policy might already cover your collection. If art insurance is not included in your current policy, our team ensure you receive quality coverage. UOVO works closely with many major insurers, including Dewitt Stern, Aon, and Frenkel & Company.


Is all climate-controlled storage the same?

This is an art storage misconception our experts hear most frequently. There is a significant difference in levels of climate control, and the type of environment you need is contingent upon your items. We offer temperature-controlled storage rooms kept at 70 degrees (+/-10 degrees) that are ideal for items that aren’t affected by humidity levels, such as metal, glass, and ceramics. We also offer private storage rooms maintained at 70 degrees, with 50 percent humidity, to aid in preserving items that are more sensitive to humidity levels, like paintings, wood and textiles. UOVO’s standards meet or exceed those set by the world’s leading museums. Fashion designers are able to store even their most delicate garments in our climate-controlled rooms, which help to extend a garment’s lifetime significantly. All of our locations have built-in HVAC systems that are able to maintaining accurate temperatures across our concierge and private rooms.


Do I have to sign a long-term contract?

At UOVO, our storage leasing options are highly flexible. We offer everything from month-to-month contracts to 10 year+ long-term leases. Our experts work with you to determine the length of your contract based on your individual needs.

Images and content on UOVO.ART are copyrighted and cannot be downloaded or used anywhere without prior consent. 2023 UOVO© All Rights Reserved