Our Work In Natural Disasters

When Walter Gander and Frank White came together in London in 1933 to form a fine art shipping company, do you think they ever thought that one day their company would have to be dealing with hurricanes, wildfires and earthquakes?

Because in 2019 we have to do exactly that. Since 2003 we have had permanent facilities in Florida, meaning our staff there have had to become adept at supporting clients dealing with tropical storms, cyclones and hurricanes. In 2011 we opened a permanent base in California, a state with high seismological activity and which is increasingly prone to wildfires.

Homes, offices and galleries in Florida and California tend to be built with the worst in mind, and our structures are no different. Whether purpose-built by us or ready-made, we ensure that our fine art facilities can withstand any threat to them. In California, our facilities are earthquake-resistant, each being built on a concrete slab and both compliant with local seismological building codes. In San Francisco, our facility is built into granite, meaning the likelihood of liquification of the ground in a seismic event is minimal. Our facilities in Palm Beach and Miami in Florida are similarly well-built, with storm protocols to shut down the facility in the event of a hurricane putting either facilities at risk.

In these natural disaster zones, we work with galleries, museums, interior designers and private clients to ensure their precious belongings are protected as much as possible from any harm that could come to them. From our facilities in both California and Florida, we have reacted swiftly to get out to areas to remove art and antiques as protective measures from dangerous natural events, ensuring at all times that we do not endanger the safety of our crews.

We can offer a white-glove service for pretty much any fine art request, even when it comes to hurricane preparation support in Florida. We can attend clients homes, offices and galleries to perform a full photo inventory of the art in their collection, then make recommendations to the collector as to which items should be transferred to our storage facilities before Hurricane Season based on size, handling challenges and ease of access.

At the heart of hurricane preparation is education, so it’s important for us to make sure our clients and their staff know how to handle, wrap and ultimately protect the items that are kept at their location during the season.

We operate short-term emergency services for some clients who are perceived to be more at risk once a hurricane has been forecast. Despite this, rushing the removal of a delicate artwork carries great risk of damage. We sometimes leave the threatened artwork in situ and build protective casing around it for its safety.

It’s probably no surprise that artwork is rarely made to withstand an earthquake. Placing artwork in a location prone to them of course carries risks, but we’re used to it! Our California branches are well-versed in seismic safety installation practices, such as florets for wall pieces, museum putty for three-dimensional objects on shelves or pedestals, and weighted pedestals. It’s like hanging artwork on a boat (which we’ve also done). The key is to ensure that the artwork is secured with extra precautions but to make these precautions invisible!

Working with the threat of natural events is part of what we do, but it must be stressed that we NEVER want our staff to be in harm’s way. While we respond to clients when they need us in times like this, we make it known to all our office staff and art technicians that their safety comes first – if they feel endangered or threatened then they must return to safety.

Gander & White Los Angeles Completing Storage Facility Improvements

Our newest location, in Los Angeles, California, is completing upgrades to its fine art storage facility. We have recently ordered a range of improvements at the site, opened in 2016, to maintain our position at the forefront of the arts and culture industry in LA.

Improvements are tripling the area of temperature and humidity-controlled storage space in the state-of-the-art facility. Within 19,000 sq. ft of existing storage space, a total area of 10,500 sq. ft will be completely environmentally

controlled with an advanced thermostatic system, increased from 3,500 sq. ft before work commenced. Included in this expanded climatic space are three private vaults, designed with complete discretion for clients in mind. The renewed space is fully racked and accessible and will cater for increased demand for storage services from museums, galleries and private collectors.

The additions and enhancements to the facility have been designed to be above seismic safety codes. The tilt-walled concrete construction also makes it fire retardant, insulative, and durable to damage.

The site in Vernon, five miles south of downtown Los Angeles and with easy access to LAX airport, is well-situated for us to service the West Coast art scene. George Lacovara, our Branch Director in Los Angeles says: “we’re excited to be significantly upgrading our facility here. Recent business we’ve had indicates that the West Coast art scene is experiencing a great period of development, strengthened by the arrival of Frieze Los Angeles in February, and we’re looking forward to working with existing and new clients in the region going forward.”

We have also added another box truck to our fleet of vehicles based in LA. The new vehicle is equipped with environmental controls meaning Box Truckthat goods can remain under climate control from the moment they leave storage up to the point they reach their final destination.

Our Los Angeles facility works closely with our sister West Coast facility in San Francisco to transport, install and store for galleries, museums, interior designers, auction houses and private collectors in California and beyond. The addition of more specialized storage space and another vehicle will greatly aid our operations in the region.

Case Study: The Wiseman Group, San Francisco, USA

Each of our facilities around the world has a dedicated Interior Design division working with designers to facilitate their projects. From storage, to transport, to installation, we offer a premier white-glove service to our interior design clients.

The Wiseman Group (TWG) is one of the most iconic interior design firms in the San Francisco Bay area, priding itself on its commitment to creating beautiful, sophisticated, and innovative rooms that reflect each client’s needs. It was our pleasure to conduct shipping and installation for TWG at the 2019 San Francisco Decorator Showcase. This month-long event provides a selected group of designers to showcase their styles all under one roof.

The Showcase was this year held in one of San Francisco’s most notable homes, Le Petit Trianon, in Presidio Heights. With Gander & White’s support, TWG transformed the dining room of the mansion into a “Haute Bohemian Hideaway”. The room was inspired by the passions of Pierre Bergé and Yves Saint Laurent to travel and collect, so was designed to be a treasure trove of fascinating and beautiful objects from across the globe, still arrayed in a distinctly West Coast style.

Our operation for TWG began with collating the objects that would be going into the room at our San Francisco fine art facility. The eclectic group varied in size, weight and complexity, and we ensured that each was carefully packed at the warehouse to ensure the often delicate items arrived at the location safely.

Once delivered onsite in two Gander & White vehicles, we undertook the installation of the room over the course of one morning. Our team of six art technicians were coordinated by Business Development Director, Alexander Bradford, and Senior Client Liaison Manager, Mattie Stafford, who liaised closely with TWG’s Design Director James Hunter, Designer Shannon Weller, and Assistant Designer Emily Goodyear to organise the logistics involved in executing this elegant room design.

With the empty canvas ready, we began. First the area rug was laid, before a large banquette in several parts was installed. Once this was in place, we unpacked, assembled, and installed a five-section gold screen by Fromental, inspired by Gustav Klimt. With the more architectural parts of the installation complete, we proceeded to install the other parts of the room – smaller pieces of furniture, artworks, and objets d’art.

TWG produced one of the most stunning rooms of the San Francisco Decorator Showcase 2019 and we were thrilled to be a part of the project to make it happen. We value our partnership with TWG and always enjoy working with them.

First image credit: Douglas Friedman, all others Gander & White Shipping

Gander & White Shipping prepares for Brexit

As one of the world’s leading full-service art shipping companies, whatever the outcome of these prolonged, seemingly endless Brexit negotiations, we intend to be Brexit future-proof. Our time in the EU has been extended until 31 October in order for the UK government and EU to come to an agreement on the future relationship of the two parties.

As a member of the EU, the UK benefits from free movement of goods between EU member states. As such, when importing goods in free EU circulation to the UK from elsewhere in the EU, there is no customs clearance and artworks are not subject to any UK import duties and taxes. Depending on the deal agreed between the UK government and the EU between now and 31 October, Brexit may lead to changes to the sector. It is important to note, however, that breaking from the EU could also yield opportunities.

“All our warehouses are approved customs bonded warehouses, giving us an advantage over other operators in the sector,” says Victor Khureya, Operations Director at Gander & White London. “This means that you can import artworks into our bonded warehouses without paying any import VAT upfront as technically they will not have entered the UK from a tax point of view. Whatever the outcome of Brexit, it will still be possible to import your works of art onto bond, store them in our facilities without a collector or gallery having to pay import VAT upfront. It is possible to transfer works from bond to temporary import and install them in our viewing rooms for viewing purposes. Viewing rooms which are set up as galleries are located within all our facilities”, he adds.

We will continue to use the Calais to Dover route to transport works from mainland Europe to the UK and vice versa but should there be major congestion at Dover, we will also use the Harwich to Rotterdam route.

Although the October ‘flextension’ decreases the likelihood of a no-deal Brexit, it remains likely there will be an administrative cost. Victor says that “the increased paperwork will be time consuming but given that we are authorized to arrange customs clearances at our warehouses, any time increase will be spent at our warehouses, rather than queuing at the ports.”

We will be closely monitoring the negotiations taking place through the final quarter of 2019, and will paying particular attention to discussion regarding Temporary Admission (TA) rules. At present, temporary import facilities are required for artworks imported from outside the EU that are being imported for art fairs such as Frieze or Masterpiece for viewing and possible sale. Being within the customs union, EU exhibitors do not have to pay anything to bring works that are in free EU circulation temporarily into the UK. With Brexit, the UK would sit outside this zone, meaning “artworks coming into the UK will have to come in as temporary imports with a guarantee being lodged on the VAT due.  In the event of a hard or no deal Brexit, if arrangements are not put in place to mitigate this issue, less art may be shown in the UK,” says Alexander Bradford, our Business Development Manager.

Just as all companies with UK operations are doing, we look forward to the conclusion of these protracted parliamentary debates and negotiations between the UK government and the EU. We nevertheless look forward to continuing to offer a comprehensive art logistics service to dealers, collectors, interior designers, galleries and museums worldwide, no matter how the Brexit deadlock is broken.


The Fine Art Group X Gander & White Shipping = The Logistics of Art Finance

A young entrepreneurial collector working with The Fine Art Group’s advisory team to develop his contemporary art collection, was seeking a 2-year loan of $4 million against his collection. His long-term ambition is to found a private museum and display his collection to the public. However, with much of his capital invested in his expanding tech business, he was seeking to lever the capital reserved for his art acquisitions.

The Fine Art Group identified six contemporary artworks that were suitable collateral. Not only was the collateral spread across the collector’s international residences but it also included a delicate work on paper and a monumental sculpture. The Fine Art Group utilized the services of fine art shipper Gander & White to undertake collection, transport and storage of all artworks needed as collateral for funding of loan monies. Gander & White has a worldwide presence, with facilities in the UK, France and USA which enabled swift collection of collateral from the individual’s global residences. These works were packed and transported in bespoke crates crafted by Gander & White.

The pieces chosen as collateral varied in size, media, and complexity to transport. The large sculptural piece required a gantry to move. This work was successfully de-installed by Gander & White and ultimately stored in one of the company’s state-of-the-art fine art facilities. These facilities contain environmentally-controlled private rooms ideal for storing such high-value works. The collateral also included a group of works on paper that required delicate and precise handling from beginning to end. These were transported to storage using a climate-controlled vehicle, where they were then placed in a secure and controlled environment. Both the collector and The Fine Art Group were confident that the artworks were in safe hands.

Oliver Howell, European Managing Director at Gander & White, said of this project: “We were pleased to support The Fine Art Group in this international operation. The Fine Art Group offers an important service to art collectors and investors alike and it was a pleasure to once again work with a company who share our commitment to offering the best service to our respective clients”.

The collector also wished to show his works in multiple international museums and The Fine Art Group was pleased to facilitate this request, with the support of Gander & White, who work extensively with institutions. The Fine Art Group’s in-house legal team put in place all the necessary legal framework with the museums and the collectors, including establishing complex security structures, negotiating loan documentation, liaising with the museums, and organising insurance and logistics on the collector’s behalf. Gander & White worked with other agents belonging to the international fine art shipping network ICEFAT to carry out the shipping and installation of works in museums in Australia, Singapore and the UK.

This enabled the collector to realize his personal ambition of having his works exhibited for the public in major retrospective exhibitions globally. He continues to build his collection with the Fine Art Group’s advisory team purchasing emerging artists on the primary market, as well as some established blue-chip artists.

Freya Stewart, CEO of Art Lending at The Fine Art Group says: “It is important to me that our partnered service providers uphold the high-quality client service that we offer our clients. Gander & White enabled The Fine Art Group to facilitate every one of our clients’ needs as efficiently and professionally as possible.”

Gander & White’s warrant renewed for a further five years

We are delighted to announce that our Royal Warrant for Fine Art Services to HM The Queen has been renewed for a further five years. The continued possession of this badge of honor acknowledges our ongoing art logistical services provided to the Royal Household and the Royal Collection. Gander & White is one of fewer than 700 companies that currently hold a Royal Warrant for services provided to HM The Queen.

The Royal Household Warrants Committee initially granted the warrant on behalf of HM The Queen in 2017 for a period of three years. Having gone through the reapplication process in Spring and Summer of 2018 the warrant has now been awarded to us for the maximum of five years, until March 2025. Our non-executive director Francelle White, the named ‘Grantee’ of the Warrant, says “for over 85 years we have endeavored to offer the highest quality service. We are thrilled to be honored in this way for our work provided to the Royal Household”.

Oliver Howell, our European Managing Director, says: “I’m immensely proud to have had this warrant renewed. I’ve seen Gander & White grow greatly in the 25 years since I started here and the renewal of our appointment is a real testament to the level of service we always strive to provide.”

All our vehicles can continue displaying the royal arms and legend indicating the reason for the appointment. All vehicles in the UK, France and the US can display this crest, making us the only fine art shipper with a Royal Warrant with facilities in France and the US.

Paul Cannon, Managing Director of US operations, says, “we are proud to be the only fine art shipper in the US to hold a Royal Warrant. It’s an instant marker of quality that we know our clients will appreciate.”

The current end of tenure for our Warrant is now 31 March 2025.

Gander & White installs Michael Craig-Martin works in Florida

Gander & White Palm Beach is delighted to have installed works of world-renowned Irish/British contemporary artist Michael Craig-Martin at The Gallery at Windsor, Vero Beach, Florida. Present Sense features 35 pieces by Craig-Martin – paintings, prints and sculptures – and marks his most comprehensive exhibition to date in the US. The show runs from 29 January – 25 April 2019 and is open to Windsor members and their guests.

Gilles de Greling, our Gander & White Palm Beach director says: ‘The Michael Craig-Martin Present Sense installation was absolutely brilliant. The team worked tirelessly not only to ensure that the paintings and prints were installed to perfection, but the colorful large-scale sculptures were also placed exactly to the artist’s requests in the beautiful grounds of Windsor.’

Jane Smalley, marketing director at Windsor, commended Gander and White for its ‘careful planning and experience.’ The gallery has worked with Gander & White for its past three shows and Present Sense marks Windsor’s first outdoor installation.

The exhibition features a range of familiar, everyday objects.  Indoor wall works include Untitled (Light Bulb Blue), a depiction of a light blue bulb on bright yellow background; Untitled (Wireless), blue and green headphones on a magenta background; and Untitled (Trainer Fragment), shoes with red laces on a lime green background. Craig-Martin has created these pieces in his signature style, with boldly outlined motifs and bright colors.

Outdoors, Craig-Martin’s see-through powder-coated steel sculptures are in dialogue with the landscape, becoming part of the grounds of The Windsor Club.

The large Gate (white) sculpture has been installed on a lawn facing the entrance vista to the Windsor Club, welcoming everyone who visits the club. Two oversized umbrellas – Umbrella (purple) and Umbrella (yellow) – have been installed on the club’s golf course as though flirting with passing showers.

The monumental Garden Fork (magenta) reminds viewers of what it takes to tend the well-manicured grounds.  Further along a huge Wheelbarrow (red) takes shape, with the stables and ponds visible through its interior.

High Heel (pink), a large shoe which alludes to the well-healed residents of the Windsor private community, is another particularly attractive piece.  It is placed in the communal gardens, in front of the elegant homes. From the front the piece reads like a picture instead of a sculpture.

We were proud to be involved with this wide-ranging installation, bringing Michael Craig-Martin’s fantastic works to a new audience.


Michael Craig-Martin, Present Sense at The Gallery at Windsor from Windsor Properties on Vimeo.

The video is Courtesy of Verola Media.

We are expanding our Palm Beach fine art facility

We are delighted to announce that we are enlarging our Palm Beach facility. The new structure will expand our site on Mercer Avenue by a third – from 20,000 ft2 to 30,000 ft2. The six-month project has been initiated due to increasing demand for our services in South Florida, where we have had a presence since the early 2000s. The extension is expected to be operational by summer 2019.

Today Gander & White in Florida boasts over 45 employees, 9 fine art vehicles, 50,000 ft2 of operational and climate control storage for fine art between West Palm Beach and Miami.

The concrete extension will be 24ft (7.3m) high, designed to facilitate the secure storage of objects of all sizes. 7,000 ft2 will be dedicated to mixed use climate-controlled storage as well an expansive viewing room. This 600 ft2 space will allow clients to view their artworks either held in storage or brought specially to the facility for viewing purposes. The remaining space will be administrative.

The Palm Beach extension adds to our significant operations and fine art storage facilities in Florida, creating a total of 60,000 ft2 between its locations in Miami and Palm Beach. Gilles de Greling, our Palm Beach director of operations, says: ‘I opened the first office for Gander & White in Florida in 2002 and moved to our current facility in July 2004. That summer we experienced three consecutive hurricanes: Charley, Frances and Jeanne. Six months later we were at capacity. We then looked to expand and chose to open in Miami in 2006.’

This expansion will allow us to offer an enhanced service to the Gulf Coast of the US and the Caribbean. Already employing some of the finest art technicians in Florida, our greatest strength lies in our ability to offer the widest range of art logistical services.

De Greling adds: ‘Expansion is long overdue with a constantly growing demand for our services. Our philosophy is to be a resource center, a one-stop-shop for our clients. We can handle their storage needs, estate relocation, hang their artworks, install a 64-arm 3-tier Venini chandelier, rig their outdoor monumental sculptures and ship their collection to and from most destinations in the world. We can also recommend a variety of local craftsmen, framers and conservators.’

We at Gander & White Palm Beach look forward to opening the new extension and continuing to offer an expert service to an ever-growing client base.

Case Study: Watts Gallery, Surrey, UK

Watts Gallery is a beautiful and historically important Arts & Crafts gallery set in the Surrey countryside, south of London. We were delighted to be appointed to work on the Christina Rossetti: Vision & Verse exhibition there, installing a range of pieces either relating to or by the renowned London-born Victorian poet who greatly influenced the Pre-Raphaelite movement of the mid 19th century.

After a competitive tender process, we were chosen to undertake the full transportation and installation of the exhibition, involving loan items from all over the UK. Given our regular operations UK-wide, we were able to offer a ‘part load’ service where we could collect works, including paintings, photographs and drawings, from lenders while carrying out other operations, decreasing the overall cost of transporting objects. We packed, transported, stored, then installed over 30 pieces, some collated in our state-of-the-art fine art facilities in London and others transported directly from their lender on installation day.

Four art technicians from our London facility – Boris, Marc, John and Michael – were responsible for installing the entirety of the exhibition at Watts Gallery in a single day. As they had visited the rural gallery recently, they were aware of any challenges that may have arisen for access.

One of the exhibition’s highlights was the altarpiece painted by Edward Burne-Jones that was lent by All Saints Margaret Street church, London. A two metre-long and one-metre-high work from the Pre-Raphaelite painter, it was also one of the most complex items to transport and install. As with any organic matter, the altarpiece had to be kept at a particular humidity and temperature, so we utilised one of our environmentally-controlled vehicles to transport the object. Importantly, all of our fine art transports meet UK Government Indemnity Scheme standards meaning that all museums can trust us to transport objects for them.

The Watts Gallery curators intended the Burne-Jones altarpiece to be installed at the same height at which it is usually displayed in the church, two metres from the ground. Having ensured beforehand that the right equipment would be on-site, our art technicians used ladders and a teletower to raise the altarpiece and hang it securely.

From the largest object of the installation, to some of the smallest pieces, we installed a number of manuscript sheets and books that contained Christina Rossetti’s poems. These smaller items presented their own challenges, and we liaised closely with specialists to ensure that these items were transported safely and securely to their destination at Watts Gallery.

Following a successful installation, we moved the packing crates to the museum’s art store for later use in de-installing the exhibition. A successful full-service operation for a gallery exhibition.

Social Media Highlights in 2018

We wanted to share some of our highlights from the past year that we shared on social media so we have picked a top post from each month to look back on. Head to our social media platforms on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter to stay up to date with our operations around the world!

Please click here to see some highlights of our work from 2018

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