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Edmund de Waal

Edmund de Waal in conversation with Whitechapel Gallery Director Iwona Blazwick (podcast)

Edmund de Waal. Photo: Ben McKee
Edmund de Waal. Photo: Ben McKee

Renowned artist, ceramicist and writer Edmund de Waal joins Whitechapel Gallery Director Iwona Blazwick to discuss the legacy of British artist and potter Bernard Leach. Founder of the Leach Pottery in St. Ives 100 years ago and celebrated in Kai Althoff’s current show, Leach drew on traditional Japanese ceramics to lay the foundations for modern Studio Pottery. Author of a critical account of Leach’s genesis and aesthetic, de Waal discusses his enduring appeal.

Listen to the podcast by clicking here.

Whitechapel Gallery


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Edmund de Waal

Letters to Camondo (publication)
UK edition to be published on 22 April 2021

Edmund de Waal's newest book, Letters to Camondo, is now available for pre-order. The UK edition will be published on 22 April 2021.

Count Moïse de Camondo lived a few doors away from Edmund de Waal's forebears, the Ephrussi, first encountered in his bestselling memoir The Hare with Amber Eyes. Like the Ephrussi, the Camondos were part of belle époque high society. They were also targets of anti-semitism.

Camondo created a spectacular house and filled it with the greatest private collection of French eighteenth-century art for his son to inherit. But when Nissim was killed in the First World War, it became a memorial and, on the Count's death, was bequeathed to France.

The Musée Nissim de Camondo has remained unchanged since 1936. Edmund de Waal has explored the lavish rooms, exquisite objects and detailed archives. In a haunting series of letters, he writes to the Count, and gets to know the boy who journeyed from Constantinople and became a model French citizen, before all that was gained was torn away.

Pre-order a copy here.


Edmund de Waal

library of exile (catalogue)

The British Museum has published a catalogue on Edmund de Waal's work, centring around his "library of exile", currently shown at the museum.

"This beautifully produced book reflects upon the themes raised by de Waal’s thought-provoking work of art. A preface by Booker Prize-nominated author Elif Shakef considers the importance of literature and its capacity to transcend language and borders. The introduction from British Museum Director, Hartwig Fischer, positions the artwork within the wider context of the Museum’s collection, highlighting the dialogue between objects through time, from ancient history to the contemporary. Finally, de Waal concentrates on the work itself, its journey to the British Museum via Venice and Dresden, and its future role in the foundation of the new University of Mosul Library. 'Library of exile' is a contemplative read which celebrates language and the opportunity for dialogues with the displaced."

British Museum