Professor Abigail Harrison Moore

Professor Abigail Harrison Moore


I am Professor of Art History and Museum Studies. I co-developed the University of Leeds’ very successful masters programme in Art Gallery and Museum Studies, and co-developed its sister programme, MA Arts Management and Heritage Studies. I was a founding member of the Centre for Critical Studies in Museums, Galleries and Heritage, and the Centre for Collaborative Heritage Research, and I have supervised a large number of PhDs in my research areas.

Having benefitted greatly from great teachers who led me to my subjects and inspired me to think critically about the world, I am currently very focussed on creative education in schools. I have helped develop the curriculum in my subject areas and have written widely on the educational challenges for young people from low social and economic groups. I work with schools and teachers across the UK and internationally, have worked with groups from year 3 to year 13, including leading the University's Extended Project Qualification activity to support the development of research skills. 

I work in partnership with a wide range of museums, galleries and heritage organisations and maintain active links with many partner organisations through alumni, teaching and research projects, student placements and dissertations. I am a co-director of the Registrars Project, which brings together Leeds Museums and Galleries, the University and the Royal Armouries to train future registrars and supervise a WRoCAH funded PhD on this subject.

I am actively engaged in working with young people in museums, galleries and schools to encourage them to think about studying art history and museum studies and to support them in their transition to university. I works closely with ARTiculations, a project to encourage 16-18 year olds to undertake art historical research and communicate about their passion for art. I launched Discover ARTiculations Challenge at the University of Leeds, a version of this popular national and international competition, for years 10 and 11 in 2016. I am also a judge for SPOKE, a film making competition for young art historians. I work closely with the Association for Art History on their outreach programmes and helped launch 'Plan, Provide, Prepare', a teacher residential programme sponsored by the Association. I lead on a new Continuing Professional Development Post-Graduate Certificate Programme, 'Developing Teachers' Reserach and Practice' that enables teachers to turn their residential experience into a bespoke post-graduate qualification. I am passionate about enabling all young people to access and benefit from a creative education that is not limited by their educational experience or place and space of birth.

My research students are completing/have completed theses on collecting Wedgwood in America; hidden art; museums in Qatar; museums and education in Taiwan; art and design education in the nineteenth century; the display of taxidermy collections; taking museum objects into prisons; decorative ceiling plasterwork; the ethics of curating; Bardini’s collections; audience development at the Hepworth; the use of contemporary art to interpret heritage collections and audiences for contemporary art at the Imperial War Museum North and the Bronte Parsonage; the Artist-Led sector; Art Collectives; Brighton Collectors; Leighton House; Psychodelia and the Arts and Crafts; and 2 Collaborative Doctoral Projects on Education at Chatsworth and Ethics and the Work of the Registrar. 

Research interests

My research focusses on the art history of the late nineteenth century and early twentieth century, particularly the Arts and Crafts Movement, and my last monograph, Fraud, Fakery and False Business; Re-thinking the Shrager v. Dighton 'Old Furniture Case' (Continuum, 2011), considered the social, legal and political dimensions of the art and antiques market in 1920’s England.  

More recently, I have been working on an international project on the histories and cultures of energy supply, with collaborators from Canada, Austria, Sweden, Germany and the US and have recently published a special edition of the journal History of Retail and Consumption with my co-editor, Professor Ruth Sandwell (University of Toronto), Off-Grid Empire: Rural Energy Consumption in Britain and the British Empire, 1850–1960. This work draws on my long interest in the Arts and Crafts Movement and particularly the work of the designer Philip Webb. In this area of research, I have also collaborated with Professor Graeme Gooday on publications and the AHRC funded project  'Electrifying the Country House' which has led to both new research and activities to engage audiences beyond the university, including primary pupils and volunteer groups, in collaboration with the National Trust and Leeds Museums and Galleries. I contributed to a BBC4 documentary, Victorian Sensations; Electric Dreams, first broadcast May 2019, and presented a well-recieved HENI film on ‘William Morris; Useful Beauty in the Home’ aimed at young people’s education. I am now co-leading a project focussed on the histories of women and energy which has, to date, has led to a funded workshop at the Rachel Carson Center for Environmental Humanities in Munich, a special edition of the journal Perspectives and will be the subject of an edited book, due for publication in early 2021.

I am very focussed on creative education in schools, have helped develop the curriculum in my subject areas and have written widely on the educational challenges for young people from low social and economic groups, including articles for The Conversation. I am currently working with a number of school and museum and gallery partners to develop a research project focussed on the highly successful Discovery Days, which aim to empower young people to find their voice through research encounters in museums and heritage sites. I have led a recent project to offer teachers ways to respond to the recent Ofsted requirement to demonstrate how they engage pupils in ‘cultural capital’.

<h4>Research projects</h4> <p>Any research projects I'm currently working on will be listed below. Our list of all <a href="">research projects</a> allows you to view and search the full list of projects in the faculty.</p>


  • University of Southampton, PhD, 2001, ‘Imagining Egypt: The Harewood Regency Furniture Collections'
  • Post Graduate Diploma in Art Gallery and Museum, University of Manchester 1995
  • MA History of Art, Universoty of St Andrews, 1994

Student education

At the University of Leeds, I have individually designed, developed, prepared, and am/have been module leader for a variety of modules focusing on topics such as museum collections, country houses, museum studies, ideals and aesthetics, interpreting cultures, accredited learning from study days and professional work-based learning. 

I have also contributed to many team-taught modules, and contributed to MOOCs, including the award winning ‘The IB Extended Essay; Managing your Research Project’ and have set up and delivered many Educational Engagement activities including developing the University’s much-praised EPQ programme. I led on a project that has now seen the School made the Northern Centre for Excellence by the Association for Art History and developed and lead ‘Plan, Prepare, Provide’, a residential programme for art and art history teachers.

Current postgraduate researchers

<h4>Postgraduate research opportunities</h4> <p>We welcome enquiries from motivated and qualified applicants from all around the world who are interested in PhD study. Our <a href="">research opportunities</a> allow you to search for projects and scholarships.</p>