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Due to the ongoing effects of closure at the Royal Opera House, information about artists is only updated periodically during this time. We apologise for any inconvenience caused.

Edmund de Waal



Artist and writer Edmund de Waal makes his Royal Ballet debut in the 2017/18 Season designing Wayne McGregor’s new ballet, part of international celebrations of the Leonard Bernstein centenary.

De Waal is best known for his large-scale installations of porcelain vessels, often created in response to collections and archives or the history of a particular place. Both his written and artistic practice have broken new ground through their critical engagement with the history and potential of ceramics, as well as with architecture, music and poetry. His interventions and artworks, exploring themes from diaspora and memorial to anxiety and the colour white, have been made for diverse historic spaces and museums worldwide, including the Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna; Royal Academy of Arts, London; Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge; and National Museums and Galleries of Wales, Cardiff. Major permanent installations can be found at the V&A Museum, London; the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam; and the University of Cambridge. Recent gallery exhibitions include a collaboration with Ai Weiwei for Kunsthaus Graz, Austria; a project with the Morandi Foundation for Artipelag, Stockholm; Irrkunst for Galerie Max Hetzler with the Walter Benjamin archive, Berlin; and ten thousand things at Gagosian, Los Angeles. De Waal is also renowned for his family memoir, The Hare with Amber Eyes, which has won many literary prizes, including the Royal Society of Literature’s Ondaatje Prize and the Costa Biography Award, and has been translated into over 30 languages. Other books include The White Road, The Pot Book, 20th Century Ceramicsand a study on Bernard Leach for Tate Publishing.

He was made an OBE for his services to art in 2011. In 2015 he was awarded the Windham-Campbell Prize for non-fiction by Yale University. He has received honorary doctorates from Nottingham, Sheffield, York and Canterbury Christ Church universities, the University of the Arts, London, and is an Honorary Fellow of Trinity Hall, Cambridge. He is on the Advisory Committee for The Royal Mint and a Trustee for The Saturday Club Trust, the Gilbert Trust and the V&A Museum.

Edmund de Waal was born in 1964 in Nottingham. He lives and works in London.