William Watson 1917–2007

Rosemary Scott

in Proceedings of the British Academy, Volume 161, Biographical Memoirs of Fellows, VIII

Published by British Academy

Published in print December 2009 | ISBN: 9780197264577
Published online February 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191734267 | DOI:

Series: Proceedings of the British Academy

William Watson 1917–2007

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William Watson (1917–2007), a Fellow of the British Academy, was a scholar whose contribution to the field of Asian art and archaeology was both multifaceted and far-reaching. He earned a scholarship to Gonville and Caius College at the University of Cambridge to read Modern and Medieval Languages (1936–1939), and it was at Cambridge that he met a fellow-student Katherine Armfield, whom he married in 1940. After World War II, Watson took up his first post in the arts in 1947, joining the staff of the British and Medieval Department of the British Museum. In 1966, he left the British Museum and moved to the Percival David Foundation of Chinese Art to become its Director and take up the professorship of Chinese Art and Archaeology at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. Watson travelled widely and often, and he became fascinated with the arts and language of Japan.

Keywords: William Watson; British Academy; Asian art; archaeology; Japan; University of Cambridge; Katherine Armfield; British Museum; SOAS; University of London

Chapter.  5388 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Methods and Historiography

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