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London, UK, 15 Mar 2019 — Jos Hackforth-Jones, Director/CEO, Sotheby’s Institute of Art-London announced the appointment of Joe Watson as the new Director of Summer and Public Programmes.

“I am thrilled to welcome Joe Watson to lead our Public Programmes and Summer Institute. We are all looking forward to benefitting from Joe’s varied and extensive skills and experience. His success in working with a diverse range of audiences and his proven track record in engaging new audiences, with innovative and imaginative offerings, will greatly enhance our efforts.”

Watson has curated and produced public programmes successively at The Courtauld Institute of Art, the V&A, and the National Trust, where he held the role of London Creative Director. He led the National Trust into uncharted territory and engaged new audiences through a series of projects exploring twentieth-century social and cultural history, delivered with partners such as The National Archives, Southbank Centre, and Royal College of Art.

“I am thrilled to be joining Sotheby’s Institute of Art in its 50th anniversary year, as it reflects on an illustrious past and looks to the future with confidence and purpose. I am especially looking forward to working with faculty and staff to diversify and grow the content and reach of our already very successful programmes. The Institute is bursting at the seams with knowledge, ideas, and passion, which I cannot wait to open up to new audiences in original ways.”

An experienced lecturer, convener, and panelist, Watson speaks regularly on design and architectural history, and the heritage movement. In the last five years he has spoken at the Architectural Association, British Academy, King’s College London, National Trust for Canada, the RCA, RIBA, the RSA, the Universities of Oxford and Sheffield, the V&A - and aboard a 1960s Routemaster. The latter featured as one of The Guardian’s "10 Best Architecture Tours."

As a media contributor, he has featured in print and broadcast for BBC One’s Breakfast, BBC Radio 2, BBC Radio London and in The Times, Independent, Evening Standard, Financial Times, and Creative Review, among others.

Watson holds Master’s degrees in the History of Design from the University of Oxford, and Music from King’s College London. His particular research interests lie in nineteenth- and twentieth-century design and architecture, and in the longer story of English arts and culture and Englishness to the present day.

He will begin his role at Sotheby’s Institute of Art-London on March 25, 2019.

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