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Personal profile

Research interests

Verity Clarkson is a design historian whose research explores the role of post-1945 exhibitions, trade fairs, art historiography and other cultural contacts in the context of the cultural diplomacy of the Cold War. Her work examines transnational connections with a focus on British perspectives  - arts organizations, government bodies and audiences – on these sites of contest and collaboration. She is also interested more generally in post-war popular culture, nostalgia and second-hand consumption.

Scholarly biography

After obtaining her BA in modern history at St Hilda’s College, Oxford, Verity studied design history at the University of Brighton where she developed a fascination with material culture. By investigating the cultural meanings of vintage analogue synthesizers she connected her interests as a DJ and musician with the uses of ‘the past’ in design. Her AHRC funded doctorate, in collaboration with the V&A Museum, examined the organisation and reception of exhibitions from the Eastern Bloc in Britain during the Cold War; much of this work has been presented at conferences and published in edited collections and journals. She is currently co-editing a book, Exhibitions and Transnational Exchange: Art and Design, Borders and Boundaries from 1945 (Bloomsbury, forthcoming) with Dr Harriet Atkinson (Brighton) and Dr Sarah Lichtman (Parsons, NY). Alongside her academic work, she has held roles at the Crafts Council and at the Natural History Museum, London.

Education/Academic qualification

PhD, University of Brighton

Award Date: 28 Feb 2010

Master, University of Brighton

Award Date: 28 Feb 2005

Bachelor, University of Oxford

Award Date: 1 Jul 1998

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Research Output

Exhibitions and Transnational Exchange: Art and Design, Borders and Boundaries from 1945

Clarkson, V. (ed.), Atkinson, H. & Lichtman, S. (ed.), 2020, (Accepted/In press) Bloomsbury Academic.

Research output: Book/ReportBook - edited

A “many-coloured prism”: exhibiting Polish national identities in Cold War Britain

Clarkson, V., 15 Apr 2019, Machineries of Persuasion : European Soft Power and Public Diplomacy during the Cold War. Garcia, Ó. J. & Magnúsdóttir, R. (eds.). De Gruyter, p. 17-38 (Rethinking the Cold War ; vol. 3).

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceeding with ISSN or ISBNChapter

The Soviet Avant-Garde in Cold War Britain: the Art in Revolution Exhibition (1971)

Clarkson, V., 1 Dec 2018, Entangled East and West: Cultural Diplomacy and Artistic Interaction during the Cold War. Mikkonen, S., Scott-Smith, G. & Parkkinen, J. (eds.). De Gruyter, p. 15-38 (Rethinking the Cold War; vol. 4).

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceeding with ISSN or ISBNChapter

Design and Culture journal on 'Design as an object of diplomacy post-1945'

Atkinson, H. (ed.) & Clarkson, V. (ed.), 31 Jul 2017, In : Design and Culture. 9, 2, p. 117-262 146 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalEditorial

Open Access
  • Activities

    Cold War Matters

    Verity Clarkson (Participant)

    16 Dec 201917 Dec 2019

    Activity: EventsConference

    BASEES Annual Conference 2018

    Verity Clarkson (Participant)

    13 Apr 201815 Apr 2018

    Activity: EventsConference

    East-West Cultural Relations

    Verity Clarkson (Participant)

    24 Feb 201725 Feb 2017

    Activity: EventsConference

    College Art Association Annual Conference

    Harriet Atkinson (Organiser), Verity Clarkson (Organiser) & Sarah Lichtman (Organiser)

    18 Feb 2017

    Activity: EventsConference

    AIAS Symposium: Machineries of Persuasion

    Verity Clarkson (Participant)

    19 Jan 201720 Jan 2017

    Activity: EventsConference