Netherlands Institute for Conservation, Art and Science

Project Plastics

Identification of platsics outside the lab

Each collection of contemporary art and design objects contains numerous artefacts made of plastic. To identify the material composition of these objects specialist knowledge is required. The NICAS/SBMK Project Plastics is an answer to the request for help of Dutch museums in setting up surveys of plastic collections.

The project brings together conservation scientists, conservators and ten major art collections in the Netherlands. A do-it-yourself method will be developed by which means administrators and conservators will be enabled to identify a large part of their plastic collections themselves, to monitor them and take appropriate measures for preventive conservation.

During the project a representative part of the collections will be identified and registered in the participating museum information systems. Staff members learn to identify plastics ‘on the job’. By developing preventive measures in collaboration, plastic collections will be maintained in a proper way and knowledge will be secured within the organizations.

RCE Sophie de giraffe

Sophie the giraffe from the reference collection of the Cultural Heritage Agency of the Netherlands (Photo: Roel Siebrand).

Project working group:

  • Lydia Beerkens
  • Maarten van Bommel
  • Agnes Brokerhof
  • Nicole Delissen
  • Suzan de Groot
  • Paulien ’t Hoen
  • Henk van Keulen
  • Tatja Scholte

Research team

  • Carien van Aubel
  • Suzan de Groot
  • Henk van Keulen
  • Olivia van Rooijen


  • S. Adam (Gemeentemuseum Den Haag)
  • J.D reissen (Schunck*)
  • V. Hameleers (Schunck*)
  • C. van Hees (Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen)
  • S. Kensche (Kröller-Müller Museum)
  • I. Kentgens (Bonnefantenmuseum)
  • R. Kievits (Cultural Heritage Agency of the Netherlands)
  • S. Kisters (Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen)
  • A. van de Knokke (Van Abbemuseum)
  • L. Kreijn (Kröller-Müller Museum)
  • D. Laudy (Rabo Art Collection)
  • A. Mourik (Centraal Museum Utrecht)
  • S. van Schaik (Cultural Heritage Agency of the Netherland)
  • R. Timmermans (Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam)
  • M. Verduijn (Centraal Museum Utrecht)
  • S.Weerdenburg (Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam)

Institutions involved

  • Foundation for Conservation of Contemporary Art (SBMK)
  • Cultural Heritage Agency of the Netherlands,
  • University of Amsterdam
  • Bonnefantenmuseum
  • Centraal Museum
  • Gemeentemuseum The Hague
  • Kröller-Müller Museum
  • Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen
  • Schunck*
  • Stedelijk Museum
  • Van Abbemuseum
  • Rabo Art Collection.

Want to know more?

Please click here for project updates and background information.

Financially supported by the Gieskes-Strijbis fund and Mondriaan fund.

Logos Plastics Project

Published by  NICAS

14 November 2017