Professor Mark Westgarth


After studying BA History of Fine and 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 and Heritage Studies, before taking up my current appointment at the University of Leeds.


  • Director of Postgraduate Research
  • Director of the Centre for the Study of the Art & Antiques Market

Research interests

My research interests are focused on 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. I am also interested in the history and theoryof museums,especially where this intersects with the art market.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.

<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>


  • PhD (Southampton)
  • PGCert (Salford)
  • MA (Leeds)
  • BA (Leeds)

Student education

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

Research groups and institutes

  • Centre for the Study of the Art and Antiques Market

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>