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How To Ship A Painting

Today I'm sharing an article with you by Jason Horejs on how to ship paintings. Jason is a gallerist I worked with for a while who lives in the US. He goes into great detail on all aspects of shipping paintings, from Wrapping to Insurance. It was sent to me in an email and he invited me to share it with others, so I thought the best way to do that was in a blog post. It is quite a long article, but packed full of useful information, so even if you don’t need it right now it might be useful to print it out and keep it on file for that day you begin shipping paintings to galleries.

Many thanks Jason for your great information..

How to Ship Paintings | A Step-by-Step Guide for Artists and Galleries



I have been in the gallery business since 1993. Though I now own Xanadu Gallery in Scottsdale, AZ, I started in the business on the ground floor. My first job was in the backroom, shipping artwork for a Western Art gallery in Scottsdale. The gallery had a high sales volume, so I got a lot of experience packing, crating and shipping art of every shape and size. I shipped paintings and sculptures large and small and learned what was important in making sure artwork arrived safely.

Over the years I certainly learned some lessons the hard way – not every piece arrived safely. Sometimes, despite my best efforts, artwork would be damaged by the delivery company, and sometimes, I would neglect a minor detail, resulting in a shipping disaster. Eventually I became quite adept at it, and even though I eventually moved into a sales position and ultimately opened my own gallery, I continued to sneak into the shipping room from time to time to keep in practice. To this day I will sometimes pack and ship a piece myself – there’s something satisfying about the physical act of shipping a piece of artwork.

Shipping is both science and art, and I would like to share with you some of the lessons and techniques I’ve learned over the years.

While shipping is almost second nature to me, I know that it poses a perplexing challenge for many artists and gallerists. I know this first-hand: Some of the boxes I receive at the gallery are packed atrociously. From these boxes it is clear many artists either don’t know how to ship their work effectively. Or they know, but don’t care very much. I hope I can make your life a little easier the next time you have to ship a painting.

While this document will focus on shipping two-dimensional art – paintings, prints, photographs – I hope to have a companion document on shipping sculpture in the next several months.