Project Plastics - Tom Claassen

The Kröller-Müller Museum is partner of Project Plastics, a national research project on the identification and conservation of plastics in The Netherlands.

ten major museums and curators

Each collection of contemporary art and design objects contains numerous artefacts made of plastic. To identify the material composition of the objects specialist knowledge is required, which is often not present in museums without a laboratory. The Plastics Project aims to apply advanced research to this large group of objects, bringing together conservation scientists and no less than ten major museums and curators 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. In addition, the Cultural Heritage Agency of the Netherlands (RCE) will train two junior professionals who will become specialists in this field. The project starts on April 3, 2017 and runs until April 2019. It has kindly been supported by financial contributions from the Gieskes-Strijbis Fonds and Mondriaanfonds.


The Plastics Project is coordinated by the Foundation for Conservation of Contemporary Art (SBMK) and the Netherlands Institute for Conservation, Art and Science (NICAS), a collaboration between the Cultural Heritage Agency of the Netherlands, Rijksmuseum and the University of Amsterdam. Partners in the project are: Bonnefantenmuseum, Centraal Museum Utrecht, Gemeentemuseum The Hague, Kröller-Müller Museum, Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Schunck, Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, Van Abbemuseum, RABO Art Collection and Collections of the RCE.

The full press release can be found on the website of SBMK

The Kröller-Müller Museum is taking part in Plastics Project with the work Untitled by Tom Claassen, an artwork from 1991 made of latex and steel. The photo on the right shows how fragile the material has become due to ageing.