Henry Moore Institute

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The Henry Moore Institute in Leeds has a programme comprising collections, exhibitions and research. The programme draws on artists, writers, curators and different kinds of historians, in discussions, in writing, in research projects and in exhibitions. The Henry Moore Institute is a partnership between the Henry Moore Foundation and Leeds City Council, set up as a centre of sculpture in the city where Moore began his training as a sculptor.

Venue Type:


Opening hours

Monday - Sunday 10.00 - 17.30
Wednesdays to 20.00

Admission charges

Admission Free

Exhibition details are listed below, you may need to scroll down to see them all.

Object Lessons

  • 30 September 2015 — 3 January 2016 *on now

The 'object lesson' was developed by the influential Swiss educationalist Johann Heinrich 'Henry' Pestalozzi in the last quarter of the eighteenth century, based on the premise of learning via a direct encounter with a collection of objects. The method was popularised and extended in Britain by the siblings Elizabeth and Charles Mayo in the early nineteenth century. This focused exhibition offers a fascinating first-hand insight into this once innovative, and now, less familiar concept that is central to understanding objects.

Beginning with the concrete object, direct experience and observation, object lessons provided a way of encountering the world through form, material and process. The object lesson, however, was not limited to the classroom, its approach stretched to far larger scale educative programmes - for example The Great Exhibition of 1851 was described as 'an object-lesson upon a world-wide scale.' This, the first large scale exhibition of manufactured products that aimed to educate the population, reframed sculpture as a didactic instrument for a mass audience, and influenced the ways in which sculpture was taught, collected and displayed for the rest of the century.

The centrepiece of the exhibition is a Victorian educational specimen cabinet of object lessons. This encyclopaedia of natural and processed materials native to Britain and gathered from across the Empire aimed to educate through direct experience. Alongside, four photographs from the second half of the nineteenth century showing the development of the educational collections at the South Kensington Museum are displayed, charting the collection's progress from a diverse amalgamation of teaching apparatuses and reproductions to a more specialised set of collections of fine and decorative arts that nevertheless retained their instructive role.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly



Henry Moore Institute
The Headrow
West Yorkshire






0113 234 3158


Recorded Information

0113 246 1481


0113 246 7467

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