I read in Art Market Monitor that Europe is saddled with an excess of low-value artwork created during the Victorian years.
While AMM is interested in that glut for its predictive capacity in trending the value of modern art collections, I see it as another unwelcome example of our giving the 1800s an early shove into the "who-gives-a-fig" category, alongside the 1600s and 1700s.
I don't know what the official shelf life is for a century, but courtesy says it should not be retired as long as there are people living with recollections of persons and events begun/occurring therein. Using that test of relevancy, the expiration date on the late 1800s isn't until about 2050.
Century dissing aside, high quality images of those Victorian paintings should be captured, cataloged and secured before the artwork itself disappears. When artwork loses its entertainment value, the cost of preservation becomes an unwelcome expense and leads inevitably to benign neglect and disposal. Sometime before then the care taking job needs to be transferred to folks focused less on aesthetics and more on history and anthropology. Artwork from pre-camera times may contain answers to questions scholars will be asking in 2,000 or 5,000 years that we cannot anticipate. As much fun as it is to interpret, in the long term, the mundane task of preservation is the more important task.
History is filled with questions that could be at least partly answered if more artwork had survived. So little artwork was preserved from the 1500s, for example, that we have to guess which portraits definitely and accurately depict Shakespeare, and folks have spirited discussions over whether Anne Boleyn did or did not have an unsightly wen on her neck. If those examples seem frivolous, go back further and imagine how the discourse about Christianity might differ if we had an ample supply of real time artwork illustrating Christ's activities. In that context, the worth of a picture shouldn't be determined by the skill of the brushwork.