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  • Plastics Marks

    A survey of synthetic and natural polymers in the permanent collection of Cooper Hewitt was supported by an 2011 Smithsonian Institution Collections Care and Preservation Fund Award. The survey was the critical first phase of a project focused on the condition and storage of plastic material in the museum’s permanent collection. In total, over 1,500 objects were surveyed, predominantly from the Product Design and Decorative Arts collection. Representative samples from the Textile and Wallcovering collections were surveyed as well. The survey incorporated material identification where possible and research on the specific environmental and storage requirements for different types of synthetic and natural polymers. The survey was intended to direct future planning and inform resource allocation for the ongoing care of plastic materials within the collection.