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The Author

John R. WatsonJohn R. Watson’s formal education was in music, and the first half of his career was split between church music and keyboard instrument making. Thirty-two keyboard instruments bear his name, including three in daily use at the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation where he was Conservator of Instruments and Mechanical Arts from 1988 and Associate Curator of Musical Instruments from 2008. He retired from that post in 2016 and remains active in early keyboard-related work.

His Publications Fellowship from the Samuel H. Kress Foundation encouraged work on his book, Artifacts in Use: the Paradox of Restoration and the Conservation of Organs (2010).

His recent book Changing Keys: Keyboard Instruments for America, 1700-1830 (Scarecrow Press, 2013) is a descriptive catalog detailing thirty-eight keyboard instruments in the Colonial Williamsburg collection. In 2010, with a grant from the American Musical Instrument Society, he published an online version of Martha Clinkscale’s piano database that has since grown to include 7600 pre-1860 pianos worldwide.

Curriculum Vitae

John R. Watson
  210 John Pinckney Lane
  Williamsburg, VA 23185
  Early Keyboard Ventures Blog
  Email: [email protected]