News and Events

Museums Showoff Returns to Manchester, 29th May 2014

Museums Showoff is fast and furious open mic night featuring curators, conservators, librarians, collectors, Museum Studies students, archaeologists, social historians, educators, multimedia developers, explainers, visitors, theorists and everyone else associated with museums and library special collections. 

Find out more about Museums Showoff

The Institute for Cultural Practices is pleased to announce that Museums Showoff is coming back to Manchester for an evening of museum banter and conviviality: join us at the People’s History Museum, 29th May.




AHRC Collaborative Doctoral Award PhD studentship

AHRC Collaborative Doctoral Award PhD studentship
University of Manchester and the National Gallery, London
from October 2014.
‘Making a Market for Art:  Agnew’s and the National Gallery, 1850-1944’
The University of Manchester and the National Gallery, London invite applications for a fully funded AHRC Collaborative Doctoral Award PhD studentship: ‘Making a Market for Art:  Agnew’s and the National Gallery, 1850-1944’.
The aim of the project is to investigate the relationship between Agnew’s and the National Gallery, particularly studying how an art dealer creates a market for their goods, and how a public collector (specifically, the National Gallery) responds to and shapes that market.  The research will investigate the history of the National Gallery’s engagement with Agnew’s and the impact of this influential dealer on the formation of the Gallery’s collection; for example, by examining the tensions and synergies between commerce and philanthropy, and between profit and patriotism. This will be the first in-depth study of a remarkably long relationship between a particular dealer and the National Gallery; in turn, it will provide an important historical and critical perspective on the operation of the Gallery within the art market.
The recent acquisition of the Agnew’s Archive by the National Gallery provides a very significant research resource, which has not previously been available to scholars for sustained, critical study. This project will constitute the first disinterested analysis of the data contained in the Agnew’s Archive, contextualised in relation to the parallel history of collecting contained in the National Gallery records.
Candidates should have an excellent academic track record, including a Masters (or equivalent) degree in a relevant subject, including Art History, History or Museum Studies. They should be able to demonstrate an interest in the history of the art market, collecting and/or art institutions.
Full details including eligibility criteria and application procedures click here.
Closing date 25th April 2014 (including receipt of 2 reference letters).
Interviews will take place in London on Monday 12th May.

Call for Papers

Conference ‘Houses as museums/museums as houses’

The relationship between museums and domestic spaces is a long and complex one. Museums were born in the houses of collectors, while the reconstruction of the house or domestic room – of ‘home’, effectively – continues to be an influential if controversial model for museum display. On the other hand, museums have at times invested heavily in the idea of their spaces as public, scientific and definitively non-domestic.

The next Museum and Galleries History Group (MGHG) conference takes place at the Wallace Collection, London, on Friday 12 – Saturday 13 September 2014.

Download the Call for Papers.

Film Screening and Discussion

Researching the New:  Cultural Space, Production and Engagement

Join us at a screening and discussion of the research films made by Belle Vue Productions for the Institute for Cultural Practices. 4.15pm (tea) for 4.30pm start – 6pm drinks and finish, Thursday 16th January 2014, John Thaw Studio Theatre, Martin Harris Centre, University of Manchester.

For more information, please email:


‘Art Turning Left’, Tate Liverpool

Our film ‘Grizedale Arts: The Use Value of Art’ will be show in The Office of Useful Art, a working office and education space located in the exhibition, ‘Art Turning Left: How Values Changed Making 1789–2013’ at Tate Liverpool, 8th November 2013 – 2nd February 2014.

The Office of Useful Art is an initiative of the Useful Arts Association, which promotes the idea of art as a process that has practical and tangible effects in society, as part of everyday civic life, rather than a rarefied spectator experience.

More information on The Office of Useful Art