A Short Excursus Into the History of Art Shipping

2 min readAug 18, 2020

These days, most people cannot imagine life without progressive technologies and up-to-date comfort zone. Thanks to innovative technical solutions, we can save much time while something or someone is doing everything for us. The industry of art logistics and transportation is a case in point. When you hire professional fine art shippers, they are likely to use specialty equipment to ship a painting or any other art piece. Nevertheless, this was not always the case. Let’s embark on a short journey into the history of art shipping and find out how the industry has changed over the years.

Prehistoric times

Considering that ancient people were producing primitive art, their tools and approaches were also primitive. Prehistoric communities used all sorts of materials on hand to build some transport. The only art objects that were moved were actually some sculptures and monuments.

15th — 19th centuries

With time, people gradually became more adapted, and human culture became more sophisticated. People established the first museums, where they stored and displayed art collections. The emergence and development of shipbuilding allowed traders to ship art across the continents, which might be interpreted as the first attempts of sharing experience between different nations.

20th century

The 20th century made a significant breakthrough in the industry. Two world wars were catalysts of the progress. What changed the whole world was the sudden advancement in aircraft engineering. International shipping became much more affordable, which overall was the great news for the realm of art.

Present times

In the 90s, the art industry started to take a distinct shape. The first manuals were written, while more and more professional shipping companies continued to arise. The Internet made it possible to effectively share information and promote art shipping services online. With the help of advanced climate control systems, art handlers started to use specialty trucks to transport artworks and store art in purpose-built storage facilities.

The only question that remains is “What is the future?” The answer to it, however, is yet to be answered in the years to come.




Online magazine about art, culture, antiques, jewelry, high-end watches, cutting-edge cars, yachts, and everything related to luxury lifestyle.