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Milwaukee: A Hub For Art Storage?

Courtesy of Guardian Fine Art Services
Guardian Fine Art Services in Milwaukee is a storage facility that handles tangible items like art, antiques, arms, heirlooms and more.

While many of us will never own a Picasso or a Rembrandt, we probably have collections of artworks or objects that are valuable to us. Most of us also have family papers and photographs that have sentimental value — and we might even own a piece or two of antique furniture. How we handle and store these items can keep them safe for future generations or allow them to deteriorate and become trash.

John Shannon, founder of Milwaukee’s Guardian Fine Art Services, wants to make sure your valuables, whatever they are, survive and retain their value. The storage facility handles tangible items like art, antiques, arms, heirlooms and more. ​Items are stored at museum level standards.

"People do this with financial assets — stocks and bonds. It’s rare that they do it with tangible property and that’s where we come in,” Shannon says. “Look at what happens to a newspaper which is out exposed to the elements for just a week or two. It yellows, becomes brittle. Well in truth even the best paper will be affected by light, humidity.”

It all started with a need. Shannon and his wife had a modest collection of art that needed storage. They were searching for an environmentally controlled space, but they realized no such facility existed in Wisconsin. That’s when Shannon’s entrepreneurial instincts kicked in.

Not only does this facility fill a need in Wisconsin, Shannon says it’s a good sign for Milwaukee’s art scene.

“There are some very nice collections of art in Milwaukee that are exhibited all over the United States and we’re now beginning to be a part of that network,” Shannon says. “It’s kinda a maturing of Milwaukee as an art hub and raising the profile of Milwaukee nationally.” 

Bonnie North
Bonnie joined WUWM in March 2006 as the Arts Producer of the locally produced weekday magazine program Lake Effect.
Trapper Schoepp
Trapper Schoepp became Lake Effect's assistant producer in August 2019.