The grand staircase © MAD Paris / Photo: Laszlo Horvath

Starting off our posts on Form & Design with the 1st part of the story of the current exhibition Lettres à Camondo at the Musée Nissim de Camondo in Paris (until 15th May 2022). I have always admired Edmund de Waal, both for his art and his keen interest in the history of objects and, through that, the personal stories they tell. In his 1st solo exhibition in France, Edmund de Waal shows new sculptures made from porcelain, gold, lead, stone, and French oak, reflecting on the Camondo family, their story, and their memory. This is also the 1st time a contemporary artist has been invited to create an exhibition for the museum. The exhibition shows objects by Edmund de Waal in the surroundings of the collection of 18th-century art, furniture, and objects assembled by Moïse de Camondo, from a Jewish family from Constantinople that settled in Paris at the same time Edmund de Waal’s Jewish family, the Ephrussi, settled here as well. The exhibition is a journey through the house through fragments, shards, and objects, marking the brokenness and fracture of the family and its history within a collection of perfect objects.

“You cannot mend this house or this family.

You can mark some of the broken places.

You can mark them properly and with dignity, with love.

And then move away again, let the house be.”

Edmund de Waal