Amsterdam Bakelite Collection


Exhibitions and contributions - Illustrated lectures and presentations

StickerOur Bakelite exhibitions are to demonstrate the enormous influence of bakelite on the daily lives of nearly everyone in the twentieth century. The great variety of products and forms offers interesting perspectives, as do also the points of contact with a number of movements in art and design, including Art Deco, Bauhaus, Streamline, and 1960s style, as well as the more sober designs of the eighties and the striking products developed by French designer Philippe Starck for Telefunken and Alessi in the final decade of the twentieth century. Although the high point of production occurred during the interwar years – and objects from this period are a major element of the exhibition – bakelite remains in production to this day.
After opening with an historical introduction beginning in the latter half of the nineteenth century. The concluding section will display technical and household products that are still being made nowadays. Along with bakelite, attention will also be paid to other thermosetting plastics like melamine- and urea-formaldehyde, which are also derived from Baekeland’s discoveries. Although many objects were designed in circumstances of anonymity – often by technicians, instrumentmakers, or engineers – we also find designers with established names like Norman Bel Geddes, Anna Castelli Ferrieri, Harold van Doren, Henry Dreyfuss, L. C. Kalff, Raymond Loewy, Isamu Noguchi, Gio Ponti, Dieter Rams, and Philippe Starck.



Germany, Weil am Rhein, Vitra Design Museum,
26.03.2022 – 04.09.2022

The exhibition Plastic: Remaking Our World examines the history and future of this controversial material. Featured in this display will be examples of product design, graphics, architecture, and fashion. All of the items included are from the Victoria and Albert Museum collections, the Vitra Design Museum, the Amsterdam Bakelite Collection, and other international collections.

Please see our Bakelite Review.

© Vitra Design Museum / Photo: Bettina Matthiessen


2017 "SAMPE meets ABC"

Amsterdam, 18.3.2017

European visit of SAMPE China Delegation (Society for the Advancement of Material and Process Engineering).

These high-tech engineers and scientists visited the JEC World 2017, and the SAMPE Europe Summit, both in Paris. In Germany, they saw the composite manufacturing plant of the BMW Group in Landshut.
In The Netherlands, our Amsterdam Bakelite Collection and Fokker Aerostructures were also on their list. It was a great pleasure to show the collection to our Chinese guests.


The Science Museum Osaka


The Netherlands, Rotterdam, de Kunsthal Rotterdam, 
17.12.2016 – 5.3.2017

Read Gerson Lessa’s review for the Plastics Historical Society magazine
Industrial design meets nostalgia in this exhibition, on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the Amsterdam Bakelite Collection, the Kunsthal Rotterdam presents a historical survey of objects made of Bakelite and related materials. 
Industrial design meets nostalgia in this exhibition. On the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the amsterdam bakelite collection, the kunsthal rotterdam presents a historical survey of objects made of bakelite and related materials.

kusthal rotterdam



2016 "EPRA" Meeting

Amsterdam, 2.5.2016

The European Phenolic Resins Association brings together phenolic resins producers in Europe.

EPRA members are Allnex SA/NV, Chemiplastica AB, ERCROS S.A, Fenolit d.d., Hexion GmbH, LERG S.A., Metadynea Austria GmbH, Prefere Resins Holding GmbH, Sadepan Chimica Srl, SI Group S.A.S., Sumitomo Bakelite Europe N.V., Süd-West-Chemie GmbH, UCP Chemicals AG.

Presentation and lecture for members, titled “Mr. Baekeland and his invention”. Illustrated by historic photographs and our 1936 Bakelite Limited company movie.

The Science Museum Osaka

2015 “Provocative Plastics" Conference

UK, Bournemouth, 17.9.2015 – 18.9.2015

The conference was organized by the Museum of Design in Plastics (MoDiP), sponsored by the Plastics Historical Society and took place at the Arts University Bournemouth. 

We presented our short film "Mr. Baekeland's lab stand”.


The Science Museum Osaka

2014 Rijksdienst voor het Cultureel Erfgoed

Cultural Heritage Agency of the Netherlands 16.04.2014

Donation to Rijksdienst voor het Cultureel Erfgoed (Cultural Heritage Agency of the Netherlands) of various book titles from the company library of Corodex NV, a former Dutch Bakelite plant.

Mark Twain Library

2014 Forum Kunststoffgeschichte "Plastics Heritage"

The Forum Kunststoffgeschichte 2014 with the Symposium "Plastics Heritage" provided an interdisciplinary forum for all aspects of plastics history.
The third, international Forum Kunststoffgeschichte Plastics Heritage took place at the Hochschule für Technik und Wirtschaft HTW Berlin. 131 Visitors from 11 countries enjoyed 26 lectures concerning plastics history and heritage: art, design, everyday’s and technical objects, conservation of plastics heritage: artefacts, technical heritage, material characterisation and collecting plastics objects..

Mrs. Sylvia Katz, plastics and design specialist and Mr. Hans Ulrich Kölsch, founder of the German Kölsch Collection.


Shanghai, China, Everbright Conference and Exhibition Center 29.10.2013 – 1.11.2013

Sponsored by:
Institute of Chemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences
China Phenolic Resin and Plastics Industry Association
SAMPE Beijing Chapter
SAMPE Shanghai Chapter
National Key Laboratory of Advanced Composites of BIAM

Organized by:
Puyang Willing Chemicals Co., Ltd
Beijing UFT C & E Co., Ltd

Visitors’ comments on the exhibition



Program title: De straten van Amsterdam (The streets of Amsterdam), Transvaalkade, 12.6.2013

Amsterdam Bakelite Collection on Dutch/Amsterdam TV.
Live interview by host Pieter Hulst (in Dutch) for broadcasting station AT5.


The Netherlands, Amsterdam, Royal Philips Electronics, 1.9.2012.
"What you see is what you get" - Martin Scorcese comment on bakelite TV set in company movie, Our love is history.

In cooperation with production house PostPanic BV, Amsterdam Bakelite Collection provided a rare 1946 bakelite Philips TV set.

Voor het weergeven van de inhoud op deze pagina is een nieuwe versie van Adobe Flash Player vereist.

Adobe Flash Player ophalen


Japan, Osaka, Osaka Science Museum, 1.4.2012.
The Science Museum Osaka selected Transatlantic Chemistry and The Fourth Kingdom for educational purposes for the public.

These two Japanese subtitled movie trailers are delivered by ABC.

The Science Museum Osaka


More than 2.500 visitors in three days!

Japan, Tokyo, Science Museum, 22.12.2011 – 25.12.2011

The Past, Present, and Future of Plastics


Making the movie (HDTV)
Bakelite and Baekeland: the Documentary! (Preview) YouTube

Behind the Screens

Reindert Groot Producer


More than 10.000 visitors!

United States, Yonkers, New York, Hudson River Museum,
6.2.2010 – 6.6.2010
Bakelite in Yonkers: Pioneering the Age of Plastics

Bakelite in Yonkers: Pioneering the Age of Plastics is organized by the Amsterdam Bakelite Collection in partnership with the Hudson River Museum.

Sponsoring & Support

Hudson River Museum


Canada, Toronto, Ontario, CBC Broadcast Centre, 6.3.2009 at 10 pm PT on CBC Newsworld
Contribution to CBC documentary Forever Plastic with 1937 film footage
The Fourth Kingdom
(trailer 6'22", see below)

cbc television


United States, Saginaw, Michigan, Historical Society of Saginaw County at the Castle Museum, 16.11.2008 – 16.2.2009, extended to 30.6.2009
Heat and Pressure – 100 Years of Bakelite

Historical Society of Saginaw County at the Castle Museum


Switzerland, Basel, MCH Messe Schweiz AG,
Herbstwarenmesse, 25.10 – 2.11.2008
Bakelite Exhibition Zimmermann


United States, Redding, Connecticut, Mark Twain Library, 5.4 – 4.6.2008
Heat and Pressure – 100 Years of Bakelite

Mark Twain Library


France, Paris,’15, Square de Vergennes’, 18.3 – 2.8.2008
Bakelite Exhibition Zimmermann

Bakelite Exhibition Zimmermann


Switzerland, Basel, MCH Messe Schweiz AG, Herbstwarenmesse,
27.10 – 4.11.2007
Bakelite Exhibition Zimmermann


Belgium, Ghent, Museum voor de Geschiedenis van de Wetenschappen, 23.4 – 14.12.2007
En toen was er ... Bakeliet : 1907 – 2007
Belgium, Ghent, Museum for the History of Sciences,
And then there was ... Bakelite : 1907 – 2007



Germany, Wolfsburg, Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg, 16.3 – 16.6.2002
Streamline: Amerikanisches Design 1930 bis 1955


2001 - 2002

Netherlands, Amsterdam, Stedelijk Museum, 17.11.2001 – 24.2.2002
Streamline: The Dawn of  Tomorrow: US  design  from 1930 to 1955

Press Release Exhibition


Exhibitions and contributions - Illustrated lectures and presentations


China, Beijing, Institute of Chemistry Chinese Academy of Sciences, 7.11.2013.

Illustrated lecture for staff and students.


China, Beijing, Central Academy of Fine Art, CAFA Art Museum, 6.11.2013.

Presentation about Amsterdam Bakelite Collection.


China, Beijing, Royal Dutch Embassy to China. 5.11.2013.

Discussion with Press and Cultural Affairs team.


China, Shanghai, International Forum on Phenolic Industry Development 30.10.2013

Lecture titled Mr. Baekeland and his invention. Illustrated by historic photographs and a never before in China shown 1936 Bakelite Limited movie.



Japan, Shizuoka, Sumitomo Bakelite Co., Ltd., 26.12.2011.

Illustrated lecture at Sumitomo Bakelite Co., Ltd., Shizuoka Plant, for Research and Development Department.


Japan, Tokyo, Royal Dutch Embassy, 22.12.2011.

Meeting and illustrated presentation at Press and Cultural Department.


United States, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Chemical Heritage Foundation, 02.11.2011.

Image research for Transatlantic Chemistry documentary on chemistry from renaissance period till early 20th century.

Informal presentation at department of Rare Books at Othmer Library of Chemical History.


United States, Rochester, New York, George Eastman House, International Museum of Photography and Film, 28.10.2011.

Visiting George Eastman Archive and Study Center to research connections between Baekeland and Eastman. In 1928 Eastman launched his first Kodachrome Color film; among the guests were also Thomas Edison and Leo Baekeland.

A small presentation was given to the Curator of The Eastman Legacy Collection.


United States, Syracuse, New York, Syracuse University, 27.10.2011.

Presenting Bakelite: The Material of a Thousand Uses, an illustrated lecture in the Peter Graham Scholarly Commons at Bird Library. The lecture is presented in conjunction with the ongoing exhibition Just One Word: Plastic, at the Special collections Research Center, Syracuse University Library.

During this lecture our recent acquisition was presented to a highly interested audience: BAKELITE THE MATERIAL OF INFINITE USES, a British corporate movie, produced in 1936 by PUBLICITY FILMS Ltd., for BAKELITE LIMITED, 16mm black & white.


Germany, Bremen, Hochschule für Künste Bremen/University of the Arts Bremen, July 1, 2011.
Forum Kunststoffgeschichte 2011: Form und Material - Kunststoffe in Kunst, Architektur und Design, 30.06.2011 - 01.07.2011
Participation of symposium organized by Deutsche Gesellschaft für Kunststoffgeschichte e.V./German Society of Plastics History

Lecture given about Amsterdam Bakelite Collection.


Germany, Erkner (near Berlin), Freundeskreis Chemie-Museum Erkner e.V., March 18, 2011.
Meeting and visiting world's first commercial bakelite plant; Bakelite Gesellschaft m.b.H., Heimat-Museum and Dynea premises.

A small presentation was given at the Freundeskreis offices, based at the Dynea premises.

Freundeskreis Chemie-Museum


United States, Lowell, Massachusetts, University of Massachusetts Lowell, 9.2.2010
Guest Lecture at Department of Plastics Engineering


United States, Yonkers, New York, Hudson River Museum, 6.2.2010
Opening of the exhibition Bakelite in Yonkers: Pioneering the Age of Plastics

Talk with the experts: A discussion of the work of Leo Baekeland
Reindert Groot, founder/curator, Amsterdam Bakelite Collection
Hugh Karraker, great grandson of Leo Baekeland
Dr. Louis A. Pilato, chemist and author of Phenolic Resins: A Century of Progress

Historical Society of Saginaw County at the Castle Museum


Germany, Cologne, Deutsche Gesellschaft für Kunststoffgeschichte e.V.
at Cologne University of Applied Sciences / Institute for Conservation Sciences, 13.12.2008
Annual Meeting 2008


United States, Saginaw, Michigan, Historical Society of Saginaw County at the Castle Museum, 15.11.2008
Opening of the exhibition Heat and Pressure – 100 Years of Bakelite

Historical Society of Saginaw County at the Castle Museum


United States, Saginaw, Michigan, Rotary Club of Saginaw, 12.11.2008
Wednesday Meeting Program


United States, Redding, Connecticut, Mark Twain Library, 5.4.2008
Heat and Pressure – 100 Years of Bakelite
The exhibition Heat and Pressure – 100 Years of Bakelite is the result of the close cooperation between Hugh Karraker, Redding, Connecticut and Reindert Groot, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

poster bakelite


Belgium, Ghent, Museum for the History of Sciences, 24.9.2007
Symposium Baekeland 2007: Thermosets, 100 years after Bakelite


United States, Manchester, Connecticut, Sumitomo Bakelite North America Inc., 11.5.2007
Heat and Pressure – 100 Years of Bakelite


United States, New York, New York, The Chemists’ Club, 7.5.2007
Annual Meeting

Chemist Club