The Confronting plastics preservation seminar took place on 25 July 2014 at the Museum of Childhood, Bethnal Green, London. It brought together members of the Plastics Subject Specialist Network including museum curators & conservators, members of the Plastics Historical Society, and private collectors of plastics to discuss issues relating to plastics preservation within museum and gallery contexts.
The day was introduced by a representative of the funder, Paula Brikci, Manager, Designation & PRISM, Arts Council England. She explained the role of Subject Specialist Networks within Arts Council England's mission and goals with a short paper titled Arts Council England and SSNs.
Dr Susan Mossman, Materials Science Specialist, Science Museum, set the scene in a paper that briefly spanned the history of plastics but focused on their early history in a paper titled Early plastics - natural to synthetic.
Carla Flack, Sculpture Conservator (Loans), Tate, demonstrated how prevalent plastics are in fine art in a paper titled Plastic art fantastic: an overview of plastics in art collections.
A joint paper was given by Deborah Cane, Conservation Manager, and Jo-Ann Curtis, Curator (History), both of the Birmingham Museums Trust. It provided an overview of plastics in these extensive and varied collections and focused specifically on a recently acquired collection of plastic buttons. The paper is titled Understanding plastics in collections.
Terri Dewhurst, Objects Conservator WHConservation, talked about two collections of swimwear with which she has worked. Her paper was entitled In at the deep end - understanding historic swimwear collections: materials, degradation & a method of preservation.
These films were made by Emma Crouch, I say RAAR.