Photograph by Jan Søndergaard. PUR art work by Gunnar Aagaard Andersen, “Word” 1964.


New research project ‘Conserving large-scale art works made of polyurethane foam in Danish art and design from the 1960’s to today’

The Center for Art Technological Studies and Conservation is heading up a collaborative research project aiming to develop sustainable and environmentally friendly preservation methods to ensure the future of large-scale works made of polyurethane foam (PUR). Scientists and conservators will focus on fabrication techniques, material components and degradation phenomena that are relevant to the conservation of PUR. The research project has attracted a major grant from the Danish Agency for Culture.


Focus on sustainability

There are a few established methods for the treatment of degraded PUR. Most treatments involve toxic chemicals which cannot be used in an open workshop.  These health and safety issues are difficult to comply with when working with large-scale PUR works of art or design pieces; works, which can only be treated in a closed environment with extraction.  The current project will focus on developing sustainable, innovative conservation methods to treat large-scale PUR works in art and design.

“We are extremely pleased that the Danish Agency for Culture has decided to support us. Research in PUR is necessary if we are to secure the future of Danish art made of PUR. The results we are going to deliver, will offer new ways of preserving PUR and help to increase the quality of conservation practice both in Danish museums and abroad” says CATS Center Director and Director of Conservation at SMK, Jørgen Wadum.

The PUR project runs from October 2015 to March 2017 and will end with a workshop to facilitate results for conservation professionals.