Edmund de Waal is one of the world’s leading artists working in ceramics today. He is best known for his large-scale installations of porcelain vessels, with interventions at Waddesdon Manor, the Victoria & Albert Museum, Tate Britain and MIMA. Much of his recent work has been concerned with ideas of collecting and collections: how objects are kept together, lost, stolen, or dispersed.
Increasingly, Edmund’s work has come from a dialogue between minimalism, sound and space, seen in his two permanent installations: Signs & Wonders at the V&A and a sounding line at Chatsworth House. In September 2012 Edmund took his work beyond the the museum space in his first piece of public sculpture, a local history, installed at the new Alison Richards building at the University of Cambridge. Future projects include an intervention within the Chinese collections at the Fitzwilliam Museum, due to open in November 2013, a collaborative project with the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam and site-specific work for a David Chipperfield project in central London.
Edmund is also widely known as a writer. In 2010, Chatto & Windus published his family memoir, The Hare with Amber Eyes, which has become an international bestseller. It has won many literary prizes, including the Costa Biography Award, the Galaxy New Writer of the Year Book Award and the Royal Society of Literature Ondaatje Prize. By 2013, it will be published in over twenty-three languages. In 2011 Edmund was commissioned by Phaidon to write The Pot Book, a colour-illustrated anthology of 300 ceramic vessels. His other publications include a monograph on Bernard Leach (1997) and a survey of 20th Century Ceramics (2003).
Edmund was appointed a Trustee of the V&A and awarded an OBE for his services to art in 2011. In June 2012, he was made a Senior Fellow at the Royal College of Art.
Edmund was born in Nottingham in 1964. During his school years in Canterbury, he was apprenticed to the potter Geoffrey Whiting. After reading English at Cambridge, Edmund spent a further year studying at the Mejiro Ceramics Studio in Tokyo. He lives and works in London.