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Joe Watson

Director of Lifelong and Continuing Education, Sotheby's Institute of Art, London

MSt, University of Oxford
MMus and BMus, King’s College London

As Director of Lifelong and Continuing Education, Joe oversees a portfolio that includes Study Abroad, Gap Year, Professional and Executive Education and related programs. He is part of the Management Team for Sotheby’s Institute of Art and is involved in new program development and partnerships across the Institute’s campuses. Prior to joining Sotheby’s Institute in 2019, Joe worked as a creative producer and educator for The National Trust, V&A and The Courtauld Institute of Art.

As London Creative Director for The National Trust his major projects had the dual purposes of expanding that organisation’s relevance for new audiences and pushing at the boundaries of ‘heritage’ as commonly construed. A number of those projects were simultaneously applauded and critiqued across print and broadcast media and have since been the subject of funded research projects at UCL and universities internationally.

He is regularly invited as an advisor, speaker or broadcast commentator on his main areas of interest: heritage, its institutions, cultures, boundaries and future directions; innovation in education and learning; architecture and design from 1850 to 2000.

Joe holds graduate degrees in the history of design and musicology from the University of Oxford and King’s College London. The latter was supported by a full bursary awarded by St Paul’s Cathedral, London, where Joe was later a member of the Arts Policy and Planning Committee. He has also been a member of the Southbank Centre’s Heritage Advisory Group and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.

Joe Watson
  • Major Projects/Exhibitions

    Major Projects/Exhibitions

    Executive Producer. ‘Suffragette City’. The London Pavilion, Spring 2018. By O’Neill Ross for the National Trust in partnership with the National Archives.

    Executive Producer. Queer City: London Club Culture 1918-1967’. 198 Shaftesbury Avenue, Spring 2017. By O’Neill Ross for the National Trust in partnership with the National Archives.

    Senior Curator. ‘Edge City: Croydon’. Various locations, Croydon, Summer 2016. For the National Trust in partnership with the London Borough of Croydon.

    Senior Curator. Brutal Utopias’. Southbank Centre, London, Park Hill, Sheffield, and University of East Anglia, Norwich, Autumn 2015. For the National Trust in partnership with the Southbank Centre.

    Producer. ‘Westway Beach’. Acklam Village, Portobello Road, Summer 2015. By Fruit for the Apocalypse for the National Trust in partnership with InTRANSIT Festival.

    Curator-Producer. ‘Flat 130, Balfron Tower’. Lansbury Estate, Autumn 2014. By Hemingway Design for the National Trust in partnership with Bow Arts Trust.

    Producer. ‘The Artists Have the Keys’. 2 Willow Road, Hampstead, Spring 2014. By Ryan Gander and Lisson Gallery for the National Trust.

    Producer. ‘Big Brother House’. Elstree Studios, Autumn 2013. For the National Trust with Endemol UK.

    Producer. ‘Octavia’s Orchard’. Southbank Centre, Summer 2013. By What if: projects for the National Trust and Southbank Centre.

    Curator-Producer. ‘Roadtrips by Routemaster’. Locations throughout London, 2013-2018. For the National Trust with Arriva Heritage Fleet.
  • Speaking Engagements

    Speaking Engagements

    ‘Brutal or Beautiful? British Brutalism’. Lecture for Masters of Modern Architecture and Design course, V&A, London, various dates 2015-20.

    ‘Contemporary Heritage and Urban Audiences’. Lecture and workshop for MA module Cultural Management: The Experience, King’s College London, various dates 2016-19.

    ‘Divine Designs: Material Culture and Christianity’. Course Leader and lecturer, V&A, 2018.

    ‘Concrete at a Crossroads’. Intro talk for Architecture on Screen series, British Film Institute, London, June 2016.

    ‘“Utopia London” Tom Cordell in Conversation with Joe Watson’. Screening and dialogue, Architectural Association School of Architecture, London, May 2016.

    ‘Values Revolution? New Audiences, Shifting Significance, and the Implications for Heritage Practice’. Plenary Session with Hal Kalman for Heritage Energised, National Trust for Canada Conference, Calgary, Alberta, Canada, October 2015.

    ‘Brutalism as Heritage?’ Interviewed with Harriet Harriss on BBC1 Breakfast, September 2015.

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