Care of this fascinating object is especially complex because it is made up of moving parts and many different materials including wood, leather, paper, metal, glass, porcelain and cellulose acetate.
The work is displayed at low light levels to help preserve the paper items. Controlling the relative humidity and temperature is also very important. Cellulose acetate in particular is highly responsive to moisture and can easily buckle.
Discussions on the stability of cellulose acetate between Gallery conservators and scientific colleagues from the National Museums of Scotland led to the setting up of a wider forum called Modern Materials in Collections: Scotland. This network of interested individuals will enable professionals from the museum and gallery sectors to examine issues surrounding the acquisition, preservation, storage and display of artworks containing modern materials.