Faculty of Performance, Visual Arts and Communication

Centre for Critical Studies in Museums, Galleries and Heritage

Mark Westgarth


0113 343 9430

OMB 1.07

Office hours: Thursdays 2pm-3pm


After studying BA History of Fine & Decorative Art and MA Country House Studies at University of Leeds, I completed my PhD research, investigating the Emergence of the Antique and Curiosity Dealer in the first half of the nineteenth century, at the University of Southampton.  I was formerly Lecturer in Museum and Heritage Studies at the University of Salford, where I was Programme Director for the MA Museum & Heritage Studies, before taking up my current appointment at the University of Leeds.

Research Interests

My research interests are focused on the history and theory of museums and the history of the art market and histories of collecting, especially in relation to the agency of the antique and curiosity dealer in the 19th and 20th centuries. My research has mapped the emergence of the antique and curiosity dealer during the opening decades of the 19th century, a project that placed the functions and practices of the dealer against a broader cultural framework, incorporating the commodification of historical objects and the emergence of a distinctive historical consciousness in the period.

I am particularly interested in exploring the relationships between a discourse (art history) and elements of its formation (the art market); for example, I am working at present on the relationships between the market for ‘antique furniture’ and evolving discourse of furniture history in the 19th and 20th centuries and an investigation into the cultural biography of the art and antique dealer.

In relation to museums, I am interested in philosophies of history and the meaning of ‘heritage’, and in particular the relationships between contemporary heritage practices and their roles in the construction of the meanings of the past. I am also working on a number of projects in relation to museum studies that address the interface between theory and practice and how this dialectic can be negotiated in the contemporary museum.


My current teaching at both UG and PG levels encompasses the history and theory of museums, galleries and heritage and the histories of the art market.

Modules Taught:

Undergraduate – ARTF2069 The Art Market: moments, methodologies and meanings; ARTF2121 Leeds Collections in Context; ARTF3069 Art & Money: the modern and contemporary art markets.

Postgraduate – ARTF5255 History & The Museum: representation, narrative and memory; ARTF5670 Museum, Object, Practice


Programme Director, BA History of Art with Museum Studies

Director of Impact and Innovation

Faculty Peer Review College (Impact)

Library Representative

VLE ‘Champion’

Research Projects & Grants

AHRC (Early Career) – ‘Antique Dealers’: the British Antique Trade in the 20th century, a cultural geography’ (£238,000) (2013-2016)

Museum Studies Now? (2013) (CCIE/HEIF funded project)

Hunlset & Holbeck Heritage Project (2012) (HEIF funded project)

Performing the Past: exploring the heritage of working-class communities in Yorkshire (White Rose, 2012-13)

Digitalis: using digital technologies to enhance and embed creative reflection (2010-2012)

Transforming Skills: CPD for Museum Volunteers (2009-2010)

Research Centres & Groups

Deputy Director, Centre for Critical Studies in Museums, Galleries and Heritage

Advisory Board Member, Centre for Critical Studies in Museums, Galleries and Heritage

External Appointments

External Review Panel Member, Quinquennial Review, BA/MA Art History/Heritage Programmes University of Buckingham (2013)

Advisory Board Member, The Burlington Magazine Online Database projects (2013-2016) The Burlington Magazine Index http://index.burlington.org.uk/

External Examiner, MA Museum and Heritage Studies, University of Newcastle (2009-2012)

Board Member and Newsletter Editor, The Museums and Galleries History Group (MGHG) (2008-

Visiting Speaker, IESA/Wallace Collection, MA History and Business of Art and Collecting (2012-

Visiting Speaker, Christie’s Education, Art & Business (2010-

PhD & Postdoctoral Supervision

The History of the Art Market, especially, but not exclusively, in the 19th and 20th centuries The History of Museums and Galleries in the 19th and 20th centuries The History of Collecting, especially, but not exclusively, in the 19th and 20th centuries Furniture History Current theory and practice in museums, galleries and heritage

Current PGRs

Ebony Andrews: ‘Transforming Nature: changes in the presentation and display of taxidermy in contemporary British museums’, submission date 2013

Annalea Tunesi: ‘Stefano Bardini (1836-1922): Heritage, Scenography, Museology, Market, 1865-1922’, submission date 2013

Ana Baeza: Sir Philip Hendy, curator and scholar in Leeds and London 1936-1967′, CDA with the National gallery, London – submission date 2017.

Shir Kovachi: Jewish Heirless Property: cultural property and the formation of Jewish Museums 1945-1965 – submission date 2017.


Dr Jan Baetens, Visiting Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Leuven – January-May 2012.

PhD Thesis

The Emergence of the Antique & Curiosity Dealer 1815-1850: the commodification of historical objects







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