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  • Writer's pictureTom

Shipping Nightmares?

Updated: Dec 19, 2023

I've heard shipping horror stories from more than one artist who ran into problems shipping their work to other countries. This is one of those "business sides" of being a professional artist that deserves careful attention.

As we move closer to setting up the Global Artists Atelier online gallery and possibly providing online artist assistance, we are researching how to manage international art shipping. We thought it would be helpful to pass on a little of what we've learned to our artist community.

If you're handling the sale and shipping yourself, you'll want to set up very clear policies and procedures to ensure your buyer gets the art in a timely and secure manner. It's probably a good idea to look at some of the top online art galleries like Saatchi Online and review their policies; this could be a good guide to how you establish yours.

Based on our preliminary research, Shipist and Fine Art Shippers are two companies we found offering international art shipping services, each with its own set of features and specialties. Here's an overview of what they provide:


Services Offered

Shipist focuses on serving the art community, including galleries, auction houses, collectors, and artists. They offer professional packing, local delivery, and both domestic and international shipping.

Art Specific Services

They specialize in handling fine art prints, stretched canvas, and offer services like image capture for making art prints, art photography, scanning, color correction, mounting, and laminating.


Shipist places a strong emphasis on environmentally friendly shipping. They use sustainable packaging materials and offer advice on the most eco-friendly options for shipping.


Based in Littleton, CO, they also offer pickups and deliveries in Denver, Boulder, and surrounding areas.

Artists’ Experiences

Artists who have used Shipist services praise their friendly approach, reliability, quality of prints, and efficient handling and shipping of artworks.

Additional Services

Besides art shipping, Shipist also provides drop shipping with branding, making it easier for artists to sell their work.

Fine Art Shippers

Specialization in Oversized and Valuable Items

Fine Art Shippers is particularly adept at handling, packing, and crating oversized sculptures, statues, and other valuable art pieces.

Comprehensive International Shipping Services

Their services include land, sea, and air transportation, with a focus on professional packing and customized crating for each item.

Additional Services

Fine Art Shippers also offers specialized art insurance, temporary storage in climate-controlled facilities, assistance with customs documentation, and art installation and de-installation services.


With over 20 years of experience, they are equipped to handle a variety of art mediums, including delicate materials like plaster, glass, marble, and bronze.

Customization and Care

They emphasize creating tailor-made shipping solutions for each piece of artwork, ensuring safe and secure transportation.

When choosing a service for international art shipping, it's crucial to consider the type of art you're shipping, the destination, and any specific handling requirements. Each of these services offers unique capabilities and expertise, so it's worth exploring which one aligns best with your particular needs.

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