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Sarah Moulden

Dr Sarah Moulden is Senior Curator of 19th-Century Collections at the National Portrait Gallery, London, and a historian of British art of the late 18th and 19th centuries.

Sarah’s interests focus on 19th-century British portraiture across all media, in particular its role in promoting imperial ideology in an age of empire. This research has underpinned the Empire and Resistance gallery at the Nation al Portrait Gallery, which reopened in 2023 after a major redevelopment project involving a comprehensive redisplay and reinterpretation of the collection.

Sarah completed her PhD in 2015, called Survival in the British Art World 1800-40: the art and career of John Sell Cotman. It explored how Cotman constructed a career in a fiercely competitive and congested art world and examined the relationship between art and lived experience. The work was undertaken as part of an AHRC Collaborative Doctorate Award with UEA and Norwich Castle Museum where she curated the in-focus exhibition Cotman’s One Man Show (2015-16).

Sarah joined the NPG in 2018 from English Heritage where she was Curator of Collections & Historic Interiors. Before that she was a curator at Dulwich Picture Gallery and, again, at the NPG. She completed her BA (2006) and MA (2007) at the Courtauld Institute of Art.

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