Condition report

Condition reports are invaluable for artists, curators, conservators, insurance companies, appraisers, and museum professionals.

All these professionals use condition reports to document the changing physical condition of artworks and their attendant structures. The reports account for the physical health of the art and are important for appraising the value of a work of art or when and how to call in a art conservator or make an insurance claim.

Any self-respecting arts institution would ask you to submit a signed condition report for any work that you leave in their care. The condition report will then be reviewed by the institution and updated before the work is returned to you.

The layout and format of a condition report vary from one place to another, but they tend to be equally detailed and somehow contain the same contents. Eg date of the report, name of the person examining the artwork, contact details, inventory numbers, title of work, date of creation, medium or media, dimensions, evaluation of the physical condition, estimated value for insurance purposes. The condition report for easel art and photographic art usually contains a section for the front (Recto) and the reverse (verso), which are divided up into a coordinate grid where e.g. the top left corner is referred to precisely as A1, say. In that area one can then indicate whether one has detected a blemish or damage.