Guardian Fine Art Services protects Milwaukee’s most valuable art with ‘bank-like security’

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MILWAUKEE -- Housed inside a nondescript, red brick facility in Milwaukee's Menomonee Valley is an operation that's unlike any other in the city -- and state.

Although pricey pieces are stored inside, the mission of Guardian Fine Art Services is priceless -- to protect your most valued belongings.

John Shannon

"We have bank-like security," said John Shannon, Guardian Fine Art Services owner. "The entire building is held to museum quality standards."

The building is filled with valuables -- and invaluable items -- the public will likely never see.

"Rarely, if ever, does the public ever get beyond that door," said Shannon.

Guardian Fine Art Services

Shannon and his wife, Jan Serr, instead use a demo room to show clients what is behind closed doors.

Guardian Fine Art Services

"This is an archival box," explained Shannon.

After collecting fine art for years, the couple opened Guardian Fine Art Services in late 2017 to store their own collection, which is comprised of nearly 3,600 pieces.

"I asked around -- 'where can we store art?' And everyone said, 'there's no facility in Milwaukee -- there's no facility in the state of Wisconsin," said Shannon.

Shannon says before Guardian Fine Art Services opened its doors, most collectors and museums in the area would utilize similar facilities in Chicago. After a complete renovation of the five-story, 74,000 square foot facility -- those clients no longer need to travel as far.

"Guardian is both our name and also our mission," said Shannon.

Guardian Fine Art Services

Katie Steffan

Guardian not only specializes in storage, but in transportation and preservation, too. The Guardian's registrar, Katie Steffan, keeps track of what comes in -- and what goes out.

"It's primarily my responsibility to make sure that I know where everything is at all times, so we don't lose things," explained Steffan.

This ensures that clients' most prized possessions are well protected -- always.

"It's really a privilege to be representing Milwaukee in this way," said Shannon.

More recently, Shannon and Serr opened a gallery space on the first floor of the building, called "The Warehouse." They'll hold public exhibitions, mainly from their personal collection.

Learn more about Guardian Fine Art Services by clicking HERE.

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