About the project

“The Materialisation of Persuasion”: Modernist Exhibitions in Britain for Propaganda and Resistance, 1933 to 1953 is an Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC)-funded project, based at University of Brighton. 

The project investigates how exhibitions mounted from 1933 to 1953 in public spaces, from church halls to train stations, were designed to communicate messages of propaganda and resistance. The project connects propaganda exhibitions held across a range of locations around and beyond Britain during these decades and mounted by an extended network of designers including FHK Henrion and Misha Black.

The research will result in the book Showing Resistance: Propaganda and Modernist exhibitions in Britain, 1933-53 (with Manchester University Press), the co-edited essay collection Exhibitions Beyond Boundaries: Transnational Exchanges through Art, Architecture and Design (with Bloomsbury Academic), the documentary film Art on the Streets (created in collaboration with Four Corners London) and the podcast series Graphic Interventions. This site hosts news and updates on the project as it develops.

The project runs until July 2023 and is led by Dr Harriet Atkinson of University of Brighton with an advisory group including Professor Jeremy Aynsley (Professor of Design History, University of Brighton), Dr Frank Gray (Director, Screen Archive South East), Sue Breakell (Archive Leader, University of Brighton Design Archives), Professor Annebella Pollen (Professor of Visual and Material Culture, University of Brighton), Dr Rafal Niemojewski (Director, The Biennial Foundation) and Carla Mitchell (Development Director, Four Corners London).


Dr Harriet Atkinson, Senior Lecturer, School of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Brighton

10-11 Pavilion Parade, Brighton BN2 1RA, UK

Email: h.atkinson2@brighton.ac.uk

Project twitter feed: https://twitter.com/Materialisatio2


Harriet is a member of University of Brighton’s Centre for Design History and her project draws on material from the University of Brighton’s internationally significant Design Archives.

The Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) funds world-class, independent researchers in a wide range of subjects from history and archaeology to philosophy and languages. Further information about AHRC is available here.


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