David Watkins


Following an early career which spanned sculpture, jazz piano and model making for science fiction movies, in the early 1970s David Watkins turned his creative attention to studio jewellery. In his own words of the time, ‘How Jewellery Might Be‘ was the idea that was to drive his studio research. His very individual approach to the possibilities for jewellery as wearable art quickly placed him at the forefront of work in the genre - in the first wave of what was to become known as ‘The New Jewellery’ - and attracted many invitations to exhibit around the world.

In 1984 David Watkins became Professor of Goldsmithing, Silversmithing, Metalwork and Jewellery at the Royal College of Art where, in parallel with his studio practice, he introduced new attitudes and methods of teaching, leading a distinguished and
internationally acclaimed department for over twenty years. When he finally retired from academic life in 2008 his personal contribution was recognised with the award of an Emeritus professorship.

David Watkins is also recognised as a pathfinder in his field. His reputation today, no less than in earlier years, is founded on an impressive record of sustained invention and development in jewellery forms, materials and technologies. This reputation and
practice has assured an enduring presence at the highest international levels, where his challenging and always meticulously realised work is in demand for publications, exhibitions and collections world-wide.

Education 
1952-59
 Wolverhampton Grammar School
1959-63  University of Reading BA Fine Art (Sculpture)

Awards
1974 
 De Beers Diamonds Today
1976  Crafts Advisory Committee Bursary
1978   Japan Foundation Travel Award
Western Australian Institute of Technology Artist-in-Residence
Western Australian Institute of Technology / Australian Artist in Residence /Travel Award
1980  Japan Foundation Travel Award Kyoto
Tin Symposium Vienna
1983  Designers and Art Directors Association London Award for Photography
1992  Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music Study Tour
1994  Royal College of Art London Research Award
Royal Society of Arts London Art for Architecture Award
1995  Housing Project Award London Project Artist

Selected Recent Exhibitions
2006
 Gioielleria Contemporanea: Minimal Art Entratalibera - Bruno Rainaldi Milan Catalogue
Goldmark Scottish Gallery at Thomas Goode London
Plastic: Contemporary Gold Studio GR.20 Padua No catalogue
The International Art & Design Fair The Seventh Regiment Armory New York
V&A Showcase V&A / Crafts Council London
“Collect” Victoria & Albert Museum
Modernism: Designing a New World Victoria & Albert Museum London Book
Lucca Preziosa 2006 Villa Bottini Lucca
2007  Plastic. Contemporary Gold Entratalibera Milan
Ornament as Art: Avant-Garde Jewelry from the Helen Williams Drutt Collection Museum of Fine Arts Houston
“Collect” Victoria & Albert Museum London
2008  Maastricht ‘08: The European Art Fair (Adrian Sassoon)
From Hand to Hand Catalogue
Just Must Tallinn Catalogue
Elegant Armor: The Art of Jewelry Museum of Arts and Design New York Book
Ornament As Art Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian American Art Museum Washington
2009  Cheongju International Biennale Seoul Catalogue
‘Creation II’ Goldsmiths Hall London Catalogue
‘Age of Experience’ Harley Gallery Welbeck Catalogue
‘Age of Experience’ Innovative Craft Edinburgh Catalogue
‘Age of Experience’ Ruthin Craft Centre Catalogue

Public Art and Commissions
1981  ”Nimbus” Hereford Cathedral Hanging sculpture - Tomb of St Thomas Cantilupe
1982  Chandelier Victoria & Albert Museum London
1987  “Cone Arbour” Museum het Princessehof Leeuwarden Garden sculpture - object and enclosure
1989  ”Pool Pavilion” Kowloon Park Hong Kong Garden sculpture / Gazebo / Meeting place
1992  Entrance Sculpture Braintree Tabor School Essex Outdoor sculpture / Meeting point
1992  ”Two Wing Wave” Henrietta House London Balustrade at Mezzanine level in Atrium Entrance
1997  Site-specific sculpture Essex County Council Rayleigh Commissioned artist (funding failure)

Selected Collections
Aberdeen Art Gallery
Art Gallery of South Australia Adelaide
Crafts Council London
Curtin University Perth
Deutsches Goldschmiedehaus Hanau
Helen Williams Drutt Philadelphia
Hereford Cathedral
Inge Asenbaum Vienna
Knapp Collection New York
Kowloon Park Hong Kong
Kunstgewerbemuseum SMPK Berlin
Kunstindustrimuseet Oslo
Leeds City Arts Galleries
Metropolitan Museum of Artr New York
Municipal van Reekum Museum of Modern Art Apeldoorn
Museé des Arts Décoratifs Paris
Musée des Arts Décoratifs Montreal
Museum für Angewandte Kunst Cologne
Museum für Angewandte Kunst Vienna
Museum of London
National Gallery of Australia Canberra
Victoria & Albert Museum London

Selected Publications
1992
  Exhibitions-The Banquet Table, Ralph Turner Crafts
2002  January/February, Critic’s Choice: European Museums
Malcolm Haslam Crafts
2004  July/August David Watkins’ New Work Beatriz Chadour-Sampson Craft Arts International 61
2008  Jewelry as Portable Sculpture Dr Christianne Weber-Stöber Schmuck Magazin
2009  Artist in Jewellery David Watkins, Christianne Weber-Stöber Kunsthandwerk & design 1/2009

Exhibitions

Archive

2010

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