Material Memory

Collecting Plastic

06.12. - 07.12.2018

Image Credits


06.12. - 07.12.2018


Museumsakademie Joanneum

Meeting point

Vienna (AT)


190 €, reduced price 140 € (The reduced fee is available to students, trainees, unemployed people, and employees of this year’s cooperation partners.)

External registration

Please register via e-mail.




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About the

Plastic objects have been an integral part of daily life since at least the 1950s. They have also long since found their way into cultural history or folklife exhibitions in museums. But those who not only want to exhibit the everyday culture of the 20th and 21st centuries but also preserve it must collect plastic in an active and systematic way. But how does one select from the seemingly infinite number of plastic objects those worthy of being included in collections? How does one even go about conserving and restoring all the various kinds of plastics? And how much do we need to consider that the public perception of this material is constantly changing – and thus our collection practices too? This workshop would like to combine a reflection on the cultural history of plastic as a collection item with insights from the field of materials science. It invites cultural researchers, curators, and conservators to think about whether and how plastic can find its way into museum storerooms and thus the material memory of the 20th and 21st centuries.

Anne Biber Conservator and assistant to the head of the collection at the Vienna Museum of Technology (AT)
Susanne Breuss Curator for Everyday and Cultural History at the Wien Museum (AT)
Renate Einsiedl Textile conservator at the Universalmuseum Joanneum, Graz (AT)
Renate Flagmeier Head Curator at the Museum der Dinge, Berlin (DE)
Susanne Graner Head of Collection at the Vitra Design Museum, Weil am Rhein (DE)
Martina Griesser Head of Collection at the Vienna Museum of Technology (AT)
Christian Stadelmann Curator and Head of the Everyday Life Collection at the Technisches Museum Wien (AT)


Organisers of the workshop
Anne Wanner Curator of the Austrian Museum of Folk Life and Folk Art, Vienna (AT)
Eva Tropper Museumsakademie Joanneum, Graz (AT)