‘Remembrance’ Exhibition

3 March 2018 – 3 Feb 2019

Abbey House Museum  


People can remember their loved ones in many different ways. Victorians created mourning jewellery or scrapbooks. Today we might make photo albums or use cremation ashes to create a china cup or vinyl record. The most everyday objects can become significant when someone dies. Any object – a clothes peg, book, or a plant – can remind us of the person we’ve lost.

Do you own objects that remind you of someone who has died? How else do you remember them? Are there particular places, music, smells or things you do that help you keep their memory alive? Or do you choose not to remember those who have died?

This new display, co-curated with Abbey House Museum and the University of Leeds, reflects on how commemoration has changed since the Victorian era and features contributions from people in contemporary Leeds.


We are grateful to the many people who shared their stories with us, whether directly or through the records they left behind.  Thanks to the following groups and their members for donating stories or items: Leeds Gypsy and Traveller Exchange (GATE); Leeds GATE Archives; Caring Together (Woodhouse and Little London); The Living with Dying family historians group; Sikh Elders; Satwant Rait. Thanks also to Michelle Duxbury for the photography.

Ellie Harrison and Roshana Rubin Mayhew have generously contributed a part of What is Left?, from The Grief Series, to the exhibition, and Catherine Hawthorne has sharing her story as part of this. You can find out more about this artwork here.

We will be holding a series of events in connection with this exhibition; you can find the events programme here.

And you can see recent blog posts about the objects and stories which feature in the exhibition here.


Abbey House museum lets you step back in time and wander through the enchanting streets, shops and houses and experience life as a Victorian. On the ground floor visit Stephen Harding Gate, the 19th century equivalent of a modern high street for some old fashioned retail therapy. In the back streets, see the home of the window washer woman or pop into the Sunday-School. A fun, family-friendly and interactive museum.