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Edmund de Waal Books In Order

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Publication Order of Collections

with Charlotte Vignon
Elective Affinities (With: Charlotte Vignon) (2019)Description / Buy at Amazon
Poor Crisp: Some Shards and Fragments (2021)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Non-Fiction Books

St. Ives Artists: Bernard Leach (1997)Description / Buy at Amazon
New Ceramic Design (2000)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Hare With Amber Eyes: A Family's Century of Art and Loss (2010)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Pot Book (With: Blanche Craig) (2011)Description / Buy at Amazon
Cy Twombly - Photographs (2012)Description / Buy at Amazon
Edmund de Waal (2014)Description / Buy at Amazon
The White Road: Journey Into an Obsession (2015)Description / Buy at Amazon
Edmund de Waal Library of Exile (2020)Description / Buy at Amazon
Letters to Camondo (2021)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of World of Art Books

The Cathedrals of England (By: Alec Clifton-Taylor) (1967)Description / Buy at Amazon
Costume and Fashion: A Concise History (By: James Laver) (1969)Description / Buy at Amazon
Modern Architecture: A Critical History (By: Kenneth Frampton) (1980)Description / Buy at Amazon
Bauhaus (By: Frank Whitford) (1984)Description / Buy at Amazon
Oceanic Art (By: Nicholas Thomas) (1995)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Chronicle of Jazz (By: Mervyn Cooke) (1997)Description / Buy at Amazon
20th Century Ceramics (2003)Description / Buy at Amazon
Body Art (By: Nicholas Thomas) (2014)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Anthologies

Timeless Beauty: Traditional Japanese Folk Art(2003)Description / Buy at Amazon
Electra 6 Money(2019)Description / Buy at Amazon
Ben Nicholson: From the Studio(2021)Description / Buy at Amazon

Edmund de Waal is a contemporary author, master poet, and artist from England best known for his literary works and visual art. He is known for making use of objects as vehicles for history, emotion, and human narrative.
His installations of handmade porcelain vessels often housed in minimalist structures are usually themed on materiality, memory, and diaspora.

De Waal was born in Nottingham, England, and got his early start working as an apprentice with Geoffrey Whiting, the renowned potter between 1981 and 1983.
It was an experience that got him interested in bridging Japanese and Chinese ceramic traditions with English techniques from the medieval era.

In 1986, he graduated from the University of Cambridge with an English literature bachelor’s degree, and in 1991, he won the Daiwa Anglo-Japanese Foundation scholarship.
He made use of the money from the scholarship to enroll at the University of Sheffield, where he graduated with a Japanese language postgraduate diploma.
With the little he had left, he enrolled at the Mejiro Ceramic Studio to advance his skills in ceramics.

When Edmund de Waal returned to London, he decided that he was more interested in porcelain as compared to stoneware. It was in 1993 that he began experimenting with the arrangement of objects such as jugs, bottles, and teapots.
Cargoes or groupings of irregular porcelain vessels would become a central component of much of his work which fluctuated in breadth and scale over the years.

In 2002, he had his first major architectural intervention when the Geffrey Museum in London hosted “The Porcelain Room.”

In this instance, he arranged 650 vessels within cavities in the ceiling and the floor of a chamber with lighting coming in from porcelain windows.
For de Vaal, the crafting and arrangement of ceramic vessels is some kind of poetry that he uses to beautify all manner of spaces.

In 2009, he exhibited “Sings & Wonders” at the London-based Victoria and Albert Museum. At this exhibition, he arranged 425 glazed porcelain vessels in the inner ledge of the museum as a form of love letter to the new ceramics galleries.
De Waal usually combines writing, sculptural practice, and art are deeply intertwined and he usually collaborates with musicians, performers, and poets working across mediums too.

As an acclaimed author, de Waal published “The Hare with Amber Eyes,” which would become an international bestseller.
This is a memoir about diaspora, loss, and the survival of objects that was the winner of the Royal Society of Literature Ondaatje Prize and the Costa Book Award for Biography.
In 2021, de Waal published a haunting sequence of imagined letters to Count Moise de Camondo the historical figure that was titled “Letters to Camondo.”

This was a novel that provided detailed explorations of family history through detailed explorations of the collections and archives that the patriarch left behind.
Much of Edmund de Waal’s work is about collections and collecting – how objects are dispersed, stolen lost, or kept together.

His writing and ceramics expand upon physical and conceptual dialogues among sound, architecture, and minimalism which imbue them with a sense of tranquility.
Manifest across his practice is a distinct aesthetic philosophy that puts touch, the hand, and thus the human above everything. It is all about connecting people by bringing back to life and telling stories that matter.

“The Hare With Amber Eyes” by Edmund de Vaal is a work akin to straining up a hill and then cresting the brow to find a great vista.

The potter Edmund de Waal traces the history of small Japanese ornaments known as 264 netsuke, which are usually made from various stones and woods.

He traces their history from their purchase by one of his ancestors in the late 19th century and their journey to Vienna, Paris, Tunbridge Wells, back to Japan, and ultimately to London.
For about 120 years, they had been possessed by the Ephrussi family who would become some of the wealthiest bankers who got into massive business deals and make major alliances.
With money and social influence, they would become involved with Austro-Hungarian Empire royals and many influential politicians.

Edmund also traces the ugly reversal of their fortunes with the arrival of Hitler who went after the family as they became the traditionally necessary scapegoat as Jews.
de Waal writes this memoir by following their relationship to the netsuke as each tells a story, even if each story is open-ended and incomplete.

Edmund de Vaal’s work “Letters to Camondo” is a work that tells the tragic family history of Moise de Camondo, the famed collector through a collection of imaginary letters.
Letters to Camondo provides detailed explorations of imaginary letters that de Waal penned to the art collector and banker Moise de Camondo.

The latter was a wealthy man who was the owner of a spectacular house in Paris full of some of the best eighteenth-century art from France that would then become Musee Nissim de Camondo.
The Camondos who were a Jewish family with roots in Constantinople were often referred to as the Rothschilds of the East.

During the 1870s, they had become art collectors, philanthropists, and fixtures of high society in Paris. But they were also targeted with antisemitism just like the Ephrussi family who they happened to be involved with too.
Moise made the collection for Nissim his son only for him to get killed in World War I. Camando ultimately bequeathed the house to France and by the end of the war, much of the family was killed by the Nazis.

When de Waal who had made his name as one of the best ceramic artists in the world was invited to make an exhibition at the house and this was when he began to pen letters to Moise de Camando.
These are deeply personal reflections on the value of memory, assimilation, the vicissitudes of history, melancholy, art, and family.

“The White Road” by Edmund de Vaal is a gripping blend of memoir and history that makes for an extraordinary work of fiction.

In this work, artist and bestselling author de Waal provides an intimate narrative history of how he became and is obsessed with porcelain which has often been lovingly described as “white gold.”

He has been a potter working in porcelain for more than four decades. He describes how he set out on several journeys looking for places where porcelain was conceived, refined, collected, and stored.

It was from these journeys that he would come to understand the mysterious allure of porcelain. From his London studio, he first traveled to three white hills – sites in England, Germany, and China, which are known for the creation of the best porcelain.
Ultimately, his search takes him all over the world and he learns more than the history of figurines and cups. But he is also forced to come face to face with some very dark moments of the twentieth century.
Part detective story, part history, and part memoir, it is a work that chronicles a global obsession with purity, alchemy, craft, wealth, and art written in an intimate yet sweeping style.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Edmund de Waal

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