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Professor David Crowley

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  • David Crowley
  • Area

    School of Humanities

    Role

    Professor and Head of Programme

  • David Crowley is Professor and Head of Critical Writing in Art & Design. He is also former Deputy Head of the V&A/RCA History of Design programme, and works closely with students in various design programmes at the College including those in the School of Communications. 

  • Biography

  • David Crowley is a graduate of the Royal College of Art and the University of Brighton. He also studied at the Cracow Academy of Art in Poland in the 1980s. He taught at Staffordshire University and the University of Brighton before joining the RCA in 1999. David Crowley has a specialist interest in the history of graphic design and visual communication. He is also an expert in the art and design histories of Eastern Europe under communist rule. He writes regularly for the design press and curates exhibitions (including Cold War Modern at the Victoria and Albert Museum in 2008–9; Sounding the Body Electric. Experiments in Art and Music in Eastern Europe 1957-1984 at Muzeum Sztuki, Łódź, 2012 and Calvert 22, London, 2013; and Notes from the Underground. Art and Alternative Music in Eastern Europe 1968-1994 at Muzeum Sztuki, Łódź, 2016). He curated the Warsaw International Poster Biennale exhibition in summer 2016, The Poster Remediated. He has been the recipient of research grants from the British Council, the Arts and Humanities Research Council and the British Academy. 

Selected work

Research

Research interests

David Crowley has a specialist interest in the art and design of Eastern Europe under communist rule and has written a number of books on this theme including Warsaw (Reaktion, 2003); Style and Socialism: Modernity and Material Culture in Post-War Eastern Europe (co-edited volume, Berg, 2000) and Socialist Spaces: Sites of Everyday Life in the Eastern Bloc (co-edited with Susan Reid, Berg, 2002). He is the editor – with Susan Reid – of Pleasures in Socialism: Leisure and Luxury in the Eastern Bloc (Northwestern University Press, 2010).

Crowley also curates exhibitions including Cold War Modern at the Victoria and Albert Museum in 2008–9; an exhibition on the life and work of Roman Cieślewicz at the RCA in July 2010; The Power of Fantasy. Modern and Contemporary Art from Poland at BOZAR, Brussels, 2011; Sounding the Body Electric. Experimental Art and Music in Eastern Europe at Muzeum Sztuki, Łódź, 2012 and Calvert 22, London, 2013; and Notes from the Underground. Art and Alternative Music in Eastern Europe 1968-1994 at Muzeum Sztuki, Łódź, 2016. He was the curator of the 2016 Warsaw International Poster Biennale exhibition, The Poster Remediated.

A regular writer in the art and design press, his articles have been published in Eye, Creative Review, Icon, New Statesman and The Economist as well as in various academic journals including Kritika, Journal of Design History and The Journal of Contemporary History.

David Crowley is currently writing a book on art and politics in Eastern Europe in the 1980s.

Research

Research students