At the age of five Jo decided to become an archaeologist – but later changed her mind when she discovered how cold and wet it could be digging in the rain.
Luckily her parents loved visiting interesting places, so her childhood love of history was enthusiastically (and much more comfortably) encouraged with frequent trips to art galleries and museums. When Jo first had the chance to study art history, as a sixth former, she found that she was meeting paintings and sculptures that were already old friends – and Jo has continued to be intensely curious about art and its histories ever since.
Jo read art history at Leicester University, then went on to do a post-graduate diploma in Oxford, specialising in the art and architecture of fifteenth century Italy. This was a wonderful opportunity to explore one of the most vibrant and exciting periods in history – and to do so surrounded by the marvellous collections of Oxford’s Ashmolean Museum.
A job in a bookshop turned into a happy and successful twenty-year career in the book trade, eventually running a specialist art bookshop in London, and working with the auctioneers, Christies.
Jo has also thoroughly enjoyed teaching adult education classes in art history and, for twelve years, was a volunteer guide for Tate Modern and Tate Britain.