The Prime Minister has appointed Jonathan Watkins to the Board of the Imperial War Museum for a period of four years from 25 July 2011.
Jonathan Watkins has been Director of Ikon Gallery since 1999. Previously he worked as Curator of the Serpentine Gallery and Director of Chisenhale Gallery. His tenure at the Chisenhale Gallery saw a rise in its international profile, with a number of its artists moving on to win the Turner Prize. He was Artistic Director of the Biennale of Sydney in 1998 and has worked internationally in Beijing, Venice, Turin, Milan, Shanghai, Sharjah and Palestine. He was also on the curatorial team for Facts of Life: Contemporary Japanese Art (Hayward Gallery, London 2001). Watkins is a prolific writer on contemporary art, his recent essays focusing on the work of artists such as Giuseppe Penone, Martin Creed, Yang Zhenzhong, and Noguchi Rika. He was the author of the Phaidon monograph on Japanese artist On Kawara.
Notes to editors
- The Museum was looking for a person active within the contemporary art scene, most likely as an artist or curator
- The Imperial War Museum (IWM) was founded in 1917 to record the story of the Great War. Its remit has subsequently been extended to cover the Second World War and all military operations involving Britain or the Commonwealth since August 1914. The IWM is a war museum rather than a military museum: it tells the story of modern war, people’s experience of war and its impact on society in Britain and the Commonwealth. It is an educational institution responsible for archives, collections and sites of outstanding national importance. It is a single institution with a single purpose, fulfilled in different ways at its different branches, both physical and virtual.
- The posts are not remunerated. Reasonable expenses can be claimed.
- The appointment has been made in accordance with the OCPA Code of Practice. Appoints are made on merit and political activity plays no part in the selection process. Jonathan Watkins has not undertaken any significant political activity in the UK during the past five years.