Site-Specific Art
with Edmund de Waal
Offered in partnership with the Frick Collection and the Hewitt School
Friday, October 11, 2019

The artist Edmund de Waal will discuss his inspiration for creating “Elective Affinities,” a site-specific installation at the Frick Collection. Participants will learn how de Waal’s sculptures—made of porcelain, steel, gold, alabaster, and glass—were created to resonate with the visual experience of the collection and its history, beginning with Henry Clay Frick’s roots in Pittsburgh. De Waal will discuss how he positioned his abstract sculptures to prompt a reconsideration of the museum’s spaces and its masterpieces. Teachers will then have a hands-on opportunity to experiment with de Waal’s materials and compose ensembles of their own. 

Acclaimed as both an artist and writer, Edmund de Waal is known for his awarding-winning family memoir The Hare with Amber Eyes (2010), as well as installations of porcelain vessels housed in minimal structures, often created in response to collections and archives or the history of a specific place, such as Waddesdon Manor and Chatsworth House, both in England.











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Photos by Stephen Sherman.





“The day was a time to reflect about making art, placing art, and playing with ideas in a way that too often is lost in the daily, transactional round of teaching. It was great to meet new colleagues and get a window into different teaching worlds.”
Caroline Holder, Professional Children’s School





Assigned readings:

Saltzman, Cynthia. “A Picture for a Big Price.” Chapter V in Old Masters, New World, 145-196. New York: Viking, 2008.


Master Class Fellows