October 9-12, 2018, Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, NY
Instructor: Yvonne Shashoua,PhD, Senior Researcher, Conservation Science, National Museum of Denmark
Organizers: Cindie Kehlet, Sarah Nunberg
Course limited to 18 participants, open to mid-career conservators, conservation scientists and curators.
To Apply: Please send a statement of interest and resume to Sarah Nunberg, firstname.lastname@example.org
Deadline for Application: September 5, 2018
Course Description: This four day course is divided equally between theoretical and practical sessions. Conservation of Plastics will enable participants to identify the major families of polymers in heritage collections and the most problematic additives, understand the causes of degradation in common plastics types and to recognize and monitor their symptoms in objects. The state of the art for preventive conservation will be discussed and include the latest research on the effectiveness of adsorbents and cold storage. Through practical work, participants will also learn and practice the least damaging techniques to clean, adhere and consolidate plastics as films and foams. New generation plastics coming into collections including recycled and bioplastics will also be discussed.
Yvonne Shashoua is a Senior Researcher at the National Museum of Denmark investigating the degradation and conservation of plastics. After graduating in industrial chemistry she worked as a paint technologist. She joined the British Museum as a conservation scientist in 1988, specializing in the deterioration reactions and conservation of cellulose nitrate, cellulose acetate and rubber from 1995. Yvonne relocated to Denmark in 1998 when offered a PhD scholarship in the degradation pathways and conservation of plasticized PVC at the Danish Technical University and National Museum. She has more than 100 publications including a monograph ‘Conservation of Plastics-materials science, degradation and preservation’ published by Elsevier in 2008. Yvonne was coordinator of International Council of Museums Committee for Conservation’s working group Modern Materials and Contemporary Art until 2008. Current active research interests include the stability of bioplastics, the application of nanomaterials to clean and consolidate modern artworks and the transfer of knowledge of plastics in museums to plastics in the environment.
Day 1: Introduction and aims
Historical development of plastics
Chemistry and physics of plastics
Practical session to identify types of plastics using non-destructive and destructive tests
Day 2: Why don’t plastics last forever-degradation happens!
Conservation of plastics-intelligent inhibitive
Practical session to recognize, document and monitor deterioration of plastics
Use of adsorbents and low temperatures to slow deterioration
Challenges of active conservation of plastics Cleaning plastics
Cleaning it up -practical
Adhering and filling plastics-latest research findings
Designing conservation strategies for plastics
Case histories from participants
Future directions for new generation plastics and their conservation