Events | IMA Event

Indentification of Plastic Materials

16 May | 00:00 - 17 May | 23:59

West Dean College of Arts and Conservation

Event Address

West Dean College of Arts and Conservation - The Edward James Foundation, West Dean, Nr Chichester, West Sussex, PO18 0QZ   

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This course is aimed at anyone with an interest in plastics in the context of museum and gallery collections. It is suitable for recent graduates and more experienced professionals who wish to enhance their knowledge of plastics. This will include anyone involved in collections management including curators, conservators, gallery assistants.

Through lectures and using examples from the West Dean Collection and a handling collection, you will see how plastic materials were first introduced to the world and how their profile has changed over time. By the end of the course you will have learned about the historical development of plastics, where they commonly occur in collections, and have an awareness of their varying instabilities. The need to identify will be demonstrated and different approaches to identification will be discussed. Through a practical examination session, you will develop your awareness of the variety of plastics materials available and their different properties which may aid identification. You should also be able to identify the five most unstable materials and thus protect your collection.

At the end of this course students will have learned about the different types of plastics commonly found in heritage collections. 

Course fee: STG £351 

Tutor/Facilitator: Brenda Keneghan is a conservation consultant in modern materials. She recently retired from the Victoria and Albert Museum where she was the specialist in plastics in the conservation Department for 27 years. She has initiated research into the degradation of plastics in collections and led the V&A's team in the EU-sponsored research programme (PoPART).