(Including the traditional visual arts as well as theater designers, architects, crafts artists, graphic designers, and fashion designers)
As a visual artist, you will need to be particularly resourceful in planning for the care of your work because of the difficulty of storage and preservation. As always, time and commitment are the cornerstones to finding a solution.
Many artists find it difficult or do not have time to catalogue and document their work. This task, however, is, perhaps, the single most valuable service you can perform for yourself. Even artists who have dealers anxious to represent their work after death need to make sure that their work is catalogued. Some artists have created effective documents that leave a record of their entire careergreatly simplifying later use of the work.
Making an inventoryan inventory is simply a description of each piece of work, its current location, ownership, exhibition history, accompanied by a slide or photograph of each piece. This document can also include information on maintenance and installation. Some artists have bequeathed each piece as a gift to trusted individuals or institutions before death and left an inventory where each work is. In this way, the entire body of work could be reassembled if there were later exhibition opportunities. Lack of access and ownership, however, are potential drawbacks to giving your work away before death. An inventory of your work will be valuable for any course of action you choose.