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Dr Veronica Davies

Profile summary

Professional biography

BA Hons (Open), MA in Art Historical Studies (Oxford Brookes University), PhD (University of East London)

Veronica Davies  is an Associate Lecturer who worked in the Art History department as a Lecturer from November, 2013 to July, 2017, having held a previous temporary lecturer contract (2010-12), and continues to contribute to the work of the department in various capacities.  She did her first degree with the OU, and, following a career with an IT focus in the civil service, returned to become an Associate Lecturer in 1999.  She co-organised the conference Modern Art and Modernism Revisited held in Milton Keynes in March, 2019.

She was Hon. Secretary of the Association of Art Historians (now For Art History) from 2010-13, and in 2012 acted as co-convenor of their international conference, hosted by the OU at Walton Hall. She remains an active member with a particular interest in advocacy for Art History and widening access to the discipline: a recent project involved co-organising  Art History in the Pub talks in Bristol.

An undergraduate project on British World War II war artists led to her research interest in British and German art and art institutions of the 1940s and 50s.  This was developed in her MA dissertation on exhibitions in Britain during World War II and their relationship with modern art, and extended in her doctoral thesis which compared state art policies, institutional practices and exhibition organisation in Britain and Germany between1945-51, and focused in particular on cultural policies in the British-occupied Zone of North West Germany.  More recently, support from the OU’s research associate scheme for Associate Lecturers enabled her to carry out research into exhibitions in the early Cold War period of the 1950s. She has given a number of related conference papers, and hopes to publish her research in a more comprehensive way before too long.

Research interests

Conference papers and related publications include:

April 2018: English and international: exhibiting Henry Moore’s sculpture in post-war Germany in the session ‘The National in Discourses of Sculpture in the Long Modern Period (c. 1750-1950)’, AAH, London

February 2016: ‘Pitmen painters’ and adult education in mid-20th century England in the session ‘Mines and Matter’, CAA, Washington DC

February 2014:  ‘If she can do what she has done in war, what may she not do in peace?’ Women as contributors to production in Second World War Britain in the session Women, War and Industry, CAA, Chicago

February 2013: Exhibiting Change through Exchange: Britain and Germany in the post-war decade at interdisciplinary conferenceBeziehungsanalysen: Bildende Kunst in Westdeutschland 1945  1964 Akteure, Institutionen, Ausstellungen und Kontexte at TU Dresden.  Published Autumn, 2014.

February 2012 ‘And now, over Germany, the derelict day is resumed’: British and German experiences 1945-50 in the session Out of Rubble, CAA Los Angeles (A version of this paper given as a 'Bites' talk at the South Bank Centre as part of OU participation in 'The art of fear'/Rest is Noise:Fine Arts and Archives: Confronting a land of ruins May 2013)

September 2010: Post-war to Cold War: Exhibiting Change after 1945 inCold War Cultures conference, University of Texas at Austin

December 2008: ‘Steering a progressive course’? Exhibitions in wartime and postwar Britain Henry Moore Institute, Leeds

April 2007: ‘Closing the wounds’?  The role of exhibitions in post-war Germany in the session Contested Histories in German Visual Culture 1871-1990, AAH, Belfast

February 2007: The legacies of National Socialist art policies in the British Zone of Germany, 1945-50 in the session Art History and National Socialist Germany: A Reevaluation, College Art Association, New York

October 2004: German Initiatives and British Interventions 1945-51 at the conference Kontinuität und Neubeginn. Kunstgeschichte im westlichen Nachkriegsdeutschland Bonn University, also published in anthology Kunstgeschichte nach 1945Kontinuität und Neubeginn in Deutschland, Cologne 2006

Teaching interests

An Associate Lecturer since 1999, Veronica has taught art history and interdisciplinary courses at all levels, from level one short courses to the art history MA.

Her work for the Art History department  included working on the Art History MA and she was a convenor and Deputy Chair of the second module of the new MA.  She has represented the department on level 1 module teams, and has chaired the Arts and Languages Access module on three separate occasions.  A particular interest is in fostering good study skills for art history students, and she has developed a range of online skills materials for postgraduate and undergraduate students and explored this further in action research  in order to gain her Fellowship with the Higher Education Academy.  In April 2017 she presented a paper on The value of visual literacy in interdisciplinary study  at Interdisciplinary2017 conference, Milton Keynes, and in February 2019 a paper on Making a meaningful online field trip at CAA, New York.

Impact and engagement

Building on the paper given at CAA Making a meaningful online field trip, Veronica followed this up with a Scholarship for teaching project, Running an effective online art gallery visit   (2019-21) and has given a number of presentations based on this.

From 2020-22 she worked as a Tutor on the BGReach ‘Blaenau Gwent residents engaging in arts, community and heritage’, outreach project co-ordinated by the OU in Wales.  Based on this she gave a paper in 2023, Visual art reaching out to communities in the South Wales valleys: a case study, at the international conference ‘Art (history) in educational contexts’, University of Zagreb, Croatia