Scoring an artful interstate

The US interstate is properly known as Dwight D. Eisenhower National System of Interstate and Defense Highways. It’s a rather elaborate and grandiose name, but fitting given that it’s an impressive feat of industrial might that transformed the way Americans were able to navigate around the country by road.
Today it remains one of the busiest systems of its kind in the world, with a quarter of all road miles being racked up in the country taking place on the interstate.
Most days of the week, distinct white and marooned vans, adorned with the slogan “Everything, handled with care”, can be seen among the masses of vehicles, travelling up and down the interstate.
Aside from its mission statement, what gives away these vans is the name of the company: Cadogan Tate. The goods being transported are what you can safely call objects of outstanding beauty and significance.
The company is a global leader in moving, storing and shipping fine art all around the world, with bases in London, Paris, Los Angeles, Cote d’Azur and, of course, New York helping make this a reality.
Every day, important and valuable works of art are carefully handled by the company’s experts, loaded into the vans and driven along the interstate, arriving at their intended destination in impeccable condition. It’s a busy job and an important one at that too.
With Cadogan Tate, explains Michael Driver, senior client manager for New York, the way the company is organised, and the very existence of the interstate itself, allows them to effectively transport a work of art from most destinations across the world to anywhere in the US. They call this the Around America Service.
Let’s break that down. Twice a month, Cadogan Tate delivers fine art all along the East Coast, which takes them down to Miami and as far as Boston and Maine. Every two weeks, its drivers do the Midwest shuttle, which sees them tick off places like Kentucky, Michigan and Ohio on the way to Chicago.
Every month is the Texas run, and again, there are invariably deliveries made at various places like Oklahoma, Kansas, Alabama and Louisiana. Sometimes it’s the Pacific Coast, which sees it hit the West Coast too. This is one of Cadogan Tate’s busiest runs, with the company travelling back and forth from New York to Los Angeles every week without fail. On other occasions, you get a trip to Las Vegas thrown in there too to mix it up a bit.
“The idea is that we are really one of the few in the industry that literally cover the length and breadth of the country,” Michael elaborates. “Most companies will outsource it and give it to an agent that covers that area. With Cadogan Tate we’re a one-stop shop.”
Having the same company from start to finish is a big deal, and a rarity. It naturally instils confidence in customers, offering you a uniformity of service that is synonymous with reliability. With no so-called third parties or divergent companies involved in shipping goods, that stability is welcomed, especially when we’re talking about fine art.
This is one of the reasons that when it came to transporting key items for the twelfth season of the hit US programme Antiques Roadshow – based on its British equivalent – Cadogan Tate was clearly a hot contender for the commission.
It was referred to the bosses at the Antiques Roadshow by Freeman’s Auction House in Philadelphia, which it works with. It was a perfect fit, says Michael, and the contract required the company to do all six of the cities the roadshow travels to and for it to pick up ten distinct pieces of furniture from their respective owners.
Cadogan Tate’s drivers would pick up the pieces and, a day and a half before the show started, install them. This would usually take place on a Friday. Once the show was over, the team would pick up the pieces and return them back to their owners.
For the most part, the company had a dedicated team for the three-month job, same drivers and foreman, meaning that at every destination on the list, a familiar face was always on hand. As Michael wonderfully describes it, there is no discombobulation.
These key cities included Boston, Massachusetts; Myrtle Beach, South California; Rapid City, South Dakota; Cincinnati, Ohio; Corpus Christi, Texas; and Seattle, Washington.
“The roadshow went very well and they were very happy with us,” Michael notes. “What it meant for us was exposure to the nation and to some very isolated places. Take for example Corpus Christi. If you Google it, you’ll find out where it is – middle of nowhere and not far from Mexico.”
There’s a strong chance that the Antiques Roadshow will be requiring the services of Cadogan Tate again, so successful was the relationship. As specialists in this field, backed up with many years of experience, the company delivered on its promise of expertise and then gave a little bit more.
We tend to forget sometimes how a work of art ends up somewhere, be it in a gallery or in someone’s home. We look at a sculpture or a painting and we naturally appreciate it for its aesthetic and artistic quality.
But, it couldn’t have got there without the likes of Cadogan Tate, which, on any given day, up and down the country, is quietly making such exceptional things possible.
To think, a Pablo Picasso painting can sell for millions at an auction in Paris, travel to London, be shipped on over to New York and end up in a remote old country farm in Kentucky. The interstate is an amazing thing … so too is relocating art.
Cadogan Tate is one of the most respected fine art transport companies in the world, specialising in shipping artwork in a safe and secure way.