Art Protection in Most Unusual Times

Bill Anderson Blog

By now you’re no doubt aware of the recent theft of a Van Gogh from a small museum in the Netherlands. Many owe it to strained resources, which are affecting almost every museum and gallery in the world. Staffing furloughs and reduced duties for those who remain to carry out absolutely necessary operations have placed the vast majority of facilities …

Founded in 2006 in response to dramatic increases in art valuations and a corresponding increase in “grab and run” theft, Art Guard has been working with a wide array of institutions, facilities and private collectors around the world. We’ve been at the forefront of this industry and we’ve seen customers' expectations change, as well as security companies we work with attempting to build relationships with their customers. Doing Something Different Emerging from the slowdown businesses in security are experiencing because of the health crisis will be an opportunity to reset. Even before the crisis customer expectations reached the point when companies that fail to deliver on the promise of seamless multichannel customer interactions were likely to experience negative business outcomes, including a decline in customer loyalty and an erosion of overall brand reputation. Now’s the time to avoid such outcomes by architecting customer service channels according to the benefits for which your company is best suited. In general customers want to interact with companies based on who they are and their willingness to listen. One of our commitments at Art Guard of providing leading edge security solutions led us to express a different type of customer support and personal attention called Devotion. Devotion as a Service Devotion means serving something or someone beyond self. Many will agree with the idea that the process of selling something is an act of service. You serve the other in making the best decision for them, at this point in time – whether that turns out to be a yes or a no. You can take it a step higher than ‘act of service’: make selling an act of devotion. Meaning you devote yourself to serving a buyer as best you can – you devote yourself to giving them the best possible outcome. In other words, you come from the heart, not from your wallet. At Art Guard, our devotion to our customers is one of our core values and it translates into how we do business. As a result, many of our customers have been with us for many years and it has translated into building deep relationships with people who we can count on. Keeping Brand Promises is Profitable We share our commitment to you by suggesting the following ways to look at devotion: 1. Satisfied customers become advocates and evangelists, working like an advance team to sell your products and services before your sales team even knows a buyer is looking. 2. Serving the right customers encourages your ideal prospects to provide high-value referrals, reducing customer acquisition costs while expanding customer lifetime value. 3. A strong customer experience can reduce service requests and support calls, freeing customer-facing resources to provide rapid problem resolution for buyers that really need it. As much as the current climate is a challenge, it’s a good time to hit the pause button and think about how you’ll come out of it with a new commitment to serving your customers.

Devotion to Service, A Path to Market Change

Bill Anderson Blog, News

Founded in 2006 in response to dramatic increases in art valuations and a corresponding increase in “grab and run” theft, Art Guard has been working with a wide array of institutions, facilities and private collectors around the world. We’ve been at the forefront of this industry and we’ve seen customers’ expectations change, as well as security companies we work with attempting to …

We recently received what sounded like a slightly begrudging inquiry from a gallery that said they hadn’t had an incidence of theft in 30 years…until someone walked off with a painting. What was probably going through their minds was that if this happens only once every 30 yrs. Why waste money on securing objects? A not uncommon rational. The implications for them are small scale compared to the Green Vault Museum in Dresden, Germany where a recent theft resulted in a loss of nearly $1 billion worth of extravagant pieces of jewelry. The theft was facilitated by the fact that the electricity was compromised, knocking out the alarms. Ample time was afforded to smash vitrines and clean the place out. This was apparently an inside job. The chances that anything will be recovered even if the people responsible are caught are next to zero. What may be even more amazing is that two weeks later in Berlin a theft occurred at the Stasi Museum. The comment from management was predictable. "But we are a history museum and don't expect people to break in". Then the unthinkable happens From no protection to easily compromised security, I’m reminded of the theft of five masterpieces from the Museum of Modern Art in Paris in 2010 in which the thief characterized the job as “dizzyingly easy”. No guards, faulty security system, unlocked window grills. Had any of those been in effect/operational, it might have given him pause before executing his plan. I can enumerate any number of thefts in the last few years that prompted shock on the part of whomever was in charge. And yet it was clear to me that whatever security they had wasn’t properly supervised, wasn’t backed up, wasn’t tested regularly, and wasn’t properly managed with regularly changing passwords. So many professionals and collectors in galleries, museums, homes and other places that showcase art probably agonize over spending money to secure art. They think that perimeter security is enough. Or they don’t even consider security. Then the unthinkable happens, and they’re incredulous. “Why would anyone do this?” is a common refrain. My question is, given the very obvious lack of safeguards that so many facilities display, why wouldn’t they? Frequent questions concern whether it’s advisable to mix methods of security protection and whether tethering paintings to walls was worthwhile. My answer is “Of course, do whatever you need to do to feel secure.” As you may know, tethering a painting to a wall with wire, in and of itself, will not prevent a theft. Like several other rudimentary methods, it offers resistance and that resistance and the resulting delay in execution may be enough to save the paintings from being taken. Some gallery professionals will react to that tactic by saying, “Why bother?” As recently as 2010, many galleries put marbles behind the frames of paintings to signal an attempt to move them. Some would say, “Incredible.” I say, “Why not?” There’s always a reason and a way to protect art and assets, compatible with your current security measures. The message here is to do something, rather than nothing, for your own peace of mind.

Do anything rather than nothing for your own peace of mind

Bill Anderson Blog

We recently received what sounded like a slightly begrudging inquiry from a gallery that said they hadn’t had an incidence of theft in 30 years…until someone walked off with a painting. What was probably going through their minds was that if this happens only once every 30 yrs. Why waste money on securing objects? A not uncommon rational.  The implications …

Opportunities with Changes in the Market

Bill Anderson Blog, News

The home security market has, for years, been stuck in the same groove. Modest gains have been made in growing beyond the 22-23% penetration of households with standard wired and RF wireless perimeter/intrusion systems. With home automation and the prospects that people can actually buy a system from Amazon and install it themselves all bets would appear to be off. …

Green Vault

Thoughts on the Green Vault Theft

Bill Anderson Blog, News

Reports put the theft from the Green Vault museum in Dresden on Nov. 25 at $1.1B. That’s Billion! That makes it by far the largest art theft in modern times. The Gardner heist in 1990 of 14 yet-to-be-recovered masterworks is estimated at a paltry $.5B and, until Green Vault, the largest. Apparently the collection was not insured, which makes any …

The New York Public Library Trusts Art Guard

Bill Anderson Blog, News

The NY Public Library recently reached out to Art Guard to provide our unique security solution for many of their most prized treasures. This is an honor and certainly recognition of our museum-level protection for over $1 billion worth of art and other valuables in well-known institutions, such as the Gardner Museum in Boston, Minneapolis Institute of Art, San Francisco’s …

Art Guard’s Technology Recognized in Robb Report Article

Bill Anderson Blog, News

We are proud to have our technology singled out in the luxury-lifestyle magazine, Robb Report, in a recent article titled “Forget Panic Rooms and Alarms, State-of-the-Art Security Is Now Insanely High-Tech—and Nearly Invisible”. The Robb Report is a dynamic influencer magazine for high net worth individuals worldwide. Their selection of our MAP technology, which protects valuable assets, is no less …

4 Questions with an Art Collection Security Expert

Bill Anderson Blog, News

Unfortunately, art theft happens In 1990, 13 works of art were stolen from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. Works by renowned artists such as Rembrandt, Degas, and others have never been recovered—and the museum continues to investigate. They are currently offering a $5 million reward for any intel on the recovery of these works in good condition. Security is a major …

Canvass Art Customers About Object-Specific Protection Possibilities

Bill Anderson Blog, News

This article was published in the April issue Security Sales & Integration. “I don’t often get granular on specific sensors supported by monitoring centers, but it’s worth it for certain elements of monitoring that have a great need and appear to be underutilized. One type of monitoring that doesn’t get enough attention is objects-specific monitoring. Monitoring External & Internal Threats. Most …

3 Helpful Marketing Tips for Your Next Show

Bill Anderson Blog, News

Your next opening should follow a checklist of some obvious and not-so-obvious details. The obvious is having all the necessary materials on hand, such as the artist’s bio, pricing sheet, and guestbook, prepping the artist on talking points and having easily identifiable personnel throughout the gallery to talk about the works. However, for your team to bring to life this …