“…Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.”
                                         The Second Coming (W.B. Yeats)
This temporary exhibit (through February 2, 2018) at the Chemical Heritage Foundation highlights issues of decay – from book preservation (bookworms are a real thing… although they are not actually worms, but several types of moths, beetles and lice that eat their way through old books):

tf

to the patinas that develop based on heat, humidity, light and skin oils transferred by touch.  These 1920’s locks came from Eastern State Penitentiary where they developed varying patinas due to their location.

tf1

The exhibit also includes a downloadable walking tour around Old City, highlighting issues with architectural conservation – including a look at these plexiglass chandeliers at the Rohm & Haas headquarters building (now Dow Chemical), currently listed on Philadelphia’s Register of Historic Places.  Rohm & Haas scientists invented plexiglass in the 1930’s, and these chandeliers were designed to highlight this famous invention.

rh2

 

https://www.chemheritage.org/walking-tour