Edmund de Waal is an artist, master potter and author.
He is known for his large-scale installations of porcelain vessels, often created in response to collections and archives or the history of a particular place. De Waal has exhibited major installations at Chatsworth, Kettle's Yard, Tate Britain, Fitzwilliam Museum, Southwark Cathedral, Kunsthistorisches Museum (including a commission for the Theseus Temple in the Volksgarten, Vienna), the National Gallery in Prague, Kunsthaus Graz and the Victoria and Albert Museum.
In 2010 de Waal's family memoir, The Hare with Amber Eyes: a Hidden Inheritance, was published. The book traces the history of de Waal’s Jewish relatives (from his paternal grandmother, Elisabeth), the wealthy and influential Ephrussi family. The book received critical acclaim, and brought de Waal the Costa Book Award for biography, as well as the Galaxy New Writer of the Year Book Award and the Royal Society of Literature's Ondaatje Prize. It has sold over a million copies and has been published in more than 25 languages.
De Waal's second book, The White Road, was published in 2015 and was aired on BBC Radio 4's Book of the Week. It follows his journey to discover the history of porcelain.
Since 2016 de Waal has continued his interest in working with arts and cultural institutions in installing his work in relationship and dialogue with existing museum collections such as the Frick Collection, historical architectural spaces such as Schindler House and the Ateneo Veneto; and engagement with Jewish museums in both Venice and Vienna.
De Waal is a Patron of Paintings in Hospitals, a charity providing art for health and social care, a Trustee of the Victoria & Albert Museum and the National Saturday Club, an educational charity for young people. In 2018, de Waal was reappointed to the Royal Mint Advisory Committee.
From 2004 to 2011, de Waal was Professor of Ceramics at the University of Westminster. De Waal is currently the 2019 Harman/Eisner artist in residence at the Aspen Institute Arts Program.
In 2011 he was awarded the Order of the British Empire (OBE) for Service to the Arts.