Ensuring that artwork is maintained on board a superyacht is an integral part of interior management. The cumulative value of pieces on board some vessels is enough to set anyone off balance, and so demand the upmost respect when it comes to their care. On board a superyacht there is a persistent risk which presents itself to fine artwork, not just from the environment itself, but from those who handle and care for the pieces directly. So, one can see why additional training in its care is an attractive offer, and perhaps even an essential skillset for crew on board vessels carrying collections.

As I’m sure we are all aware, life on a busy yacht is extremely fast-paced for the crew and often each crewmember is rushed off their feet to ensure that the yacht is run to the best standard. So, you can see why even the finest pieces may be at risk on board – one can only imagine the thought process of a crewmember on a frantic cleaning spree and accidentally marking the owner’s prized Picasso by using the wrong solvent – a terrifying thought.

But accidents, of course, do happen, and the only real way to mitigate this risk is to ensure that crewmembers are ‘in the know’ when there is fine art on board, and given the tools to protect and maintain them properly.

One can only imagine the thought process of a crewmember on a frantic cleaning spree and accidentally marking the owner’s prized Picasso by using the wrong solvent – a terrifying thought.

Leading the way to ensure that adequate training is provided to crew is Pandora Mather-Lees, an art historian and market professional, who founded Pandora Art Services to arm captains and crew with the knowledge they need to properly maintain art on board.

Today, Pandora Art Services has reinforced its superyacht game by teaming up with respected art advisory company, Yacht Art Management (YAM) headed up by art advisor and architect, Tilman Kriesel. Together the two companies will offer clients a range of services that cover both the appreciation of the art collection and also practical care of the paintings and other valuable materials on board.

“I approached Tilman after we shared a panel at a superyacht conference, as I could see that this was a perfect fit,” says Mathers-Lee. “As someone who had lived and studied art in Germany, I liked how Tilman was developing his very personal service, and had respect for his work and background in the field of art in Hamburg. I have been training captains and crew for some years now having partnered with ACREW Yachting and this additional collaboration offers me the opportunity to widen the scope of the training.”

So, what are the main risks to art on board? As highlighted above, crew need to be given the skills to properly care for the pieces on board, to prevent them from taking to fine pieces of art with solvents that can cause irreparable damage. But those on board need to be fully aware of the legal implications tied to the transportation of pieces on board. The course is also something which reflects well on an insurance premium, as it shows that valuable pieces on board will be given the protection they need.

Giving crew members the skills, they need to care for elements of the interior is extremely important, but it works both ways of course. Designers need to be aware of how busy superyachts are run, and therefore need to understand what is practical on board and what is not. During The Superyacht Design Forum on 25th and 26th June, delegates will hear what crew really think about interior design elements and materials, to showcase what it is really like on board, caring for the interiors of a superyacht.

crew need to be given the skills to properly care for the pieces on board, to prevent them from taking to fine pieces of art with solvents that can cause irreparable damage. But those on board need to be fully aware of the legal implications tied to the transportation of pieces on board

In partnership with ACREW, the course is devised across 10 modules, either on board the vessel, in the classroom or as a one-to-one consultancy service. Subjects covered here range from art handling, awareness of climate and placement issues to export sanctions risk, insurance, logistics and CITIES Regulations.

“My partner, Astor and I have known Pandora for some time now and are very happy to welcome Pandora Art Services training as part of our offer,” says Kriesel. “We believe in providing our clients with an all-round service where the after-care of the client and the crew is very important. We have seen some serious damage occur over the years that we have been placing important pieces in the care of the crew”.

While the training ensures the art on board is properly cared for and maintained, the course is also an opportunity for crewmembers looking to go down a different career path after a life on the water.

To hear about what crew really think about superyacht design, sign up to The Superyacht Design Forum on 25th and 26th of June, where we'll be exploring what works on board and what doesn't. Get your tickets here.


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