A Timely Response Is Everything As Sometimes It’s Too Late to Salvage Damaged Works of Art

Michael Appleton for The New York Times
Workers cleaned out a sculpture studio on Friday in the basement of Westbeth Artists Housing in West Village, which was heavily damaged by flooding during Hurricane Sandy.

That there are limits to the ability to salvage large numbers of drowned art works was brought to the public’s attention by Christopher Maag in his New York Times article, “Lifetimes of Artworks Destroyed at Artists’ Colony” (December 8, 2012). Maag wrote about the many artists in the Westbeth Artists Housing development who lost years of their work in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy when, due to safety concerns, they were not allowed to go down into the flooded basement where the works were stored until nine days after the storm by which time the works were in such a bad state that they had to be trashed.