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“When you pick an object up, not only do you begin to understand how it was made, it’s facture, the people who made it, but you can also, I think, begin to start to tell the story about the people whose hands it was in.”

Prominent Jewish banker and art collector Moise de Camondo settled in Paris in the 1870s and quickly began amassing the signifiers of wealth around him—a beautiful home, fine furniture, and artistic masterpieces. But after his only son, Nissim, was killed fighting for France in World War I, Moise decided to bequeath his house and its luxurious contents to the state in his son’s honor. The home became a museum, preserving the family’s name alongside the furnishings and art just as he had left them. Sadly, the anti-Semitism raging across Europe deeply impacted the museum and the Camondo family—Moise’s only surviving relatives were murdered at Auschwitz just a few years after the museum opened.

In Letters to Camondo, ceramicist and author Edmund de Waal retraces the story of Moise de Camondo through imaginary letters written to the collector. In this episode, de Waal discusses Camondo’s story, its intersections with de Waal’s own history, and the emotional weight that objects can carry.

More to explore:

Letters to Camondo buy the book
Edmund de Waal on The White Road listen to the related podcast episode


JIM CUNO: Hello, I’m Jim Cuno, president of the J. Paul Getty Trust. Welcome to Art and Ideas, a podcast in which I speak to artists, conservators, authors, and scholars about their work.
EDMUND DE WAAL: When you pick an object up, not only do you begin to understand how it was made, it’s facture, the people who made it, but you can also, I think, begin to start to tell the story about the people whose hands it was in.
CUNO: In this episode, I speak with ceramicist and author Edmund de Waal about his new book, Letters to Camondo.
Edmund de Waal is a notable ceramicist and author. His compelling memoir, The Hare with Amber Eyes, told the story of his family through the collection of netsuke, Japanese wood and ivory carvings, which he inherited from his great-uncle Iggie. They were acquired earlier by his forebearer, Charles Ephrussi, who also features in de Waal’s most recent book, Letters to Camondo.
Camondo was Count Moïse de Camondo, who with Charles Ephrussi, Edmund’s great-great grandfather, was a major figure in Parisian belle epoque high society. Camondo built a major collection of 18th-century decorative art which he intended to pass down to his son Nissim. After Nissim died in the First World War, his father memorialized him by turning their family house into a museum. And that’s only the beginning of their story.
Letters to Camondo is a book about memories and memory, stories told by a master storyteller, Edmund de Waal.
I spoke with Edmund from his house in London
Edmund. It’s wonderful speaking with you again.
DE WAAL: It’s a huge pleasure to be back in conversation, as always, Jim.
CUNO: Now, your book is an epistolary memoir, told through words and photographs, a conceit, I think, similar to W.G. Sebald in his Rings of Saturn. You even quote Sebald in your book, when he says, “Ash is a redeemed substance like dust.” How much was Sebald a model for you?
DE WAAL: Sebald haunts me. He haunts anyone who tries to write about memory and Europe, and tries to write about cities. So, if you’re traveling round the attics and archives of Vienna or Prague, or indeed, Paris in this case, of course, you’ve got Sebald somewhere with you.
But in many ways, actually, the writings of letters wasn’t so much to do with him as my grandmother, who was a great letter writer. And so in some ways, in a very real sense, actually, I had other, even more intimate models of people who send letters out into the world, not necessarily expecting answers in return.
CUNO: Yeah, you structure the book as a sequence of letters to a friend, as you said. You tell your friend that you’re making an archive of his archive, and that among his things you found were manifests for cargo and manifests for people as cargo, and that you find this difficult. We don’t know the name of your friend until the fourth letter, Moïse, his first name and Camondo his last. Why did you wait so long?
DE WAAL: I think because letters are so intimate, is that I kind of wanted people to be with me. I actually start, Jim, you know, sitting on a park bench in theParc Monceau, this beautiful Parisian park. And then I get up—it’s a sort of damp day—I get up and walk out of the park and walk up the street and ring a bell. And in some ways, I wanted people to be on that sort of intimate journey, and then gradually discover Moïse, as you say, and then the name of the house, the Camondo and be drawn in tonally, I suppose, by that exploration.
This isn’t grand non-fiction. This isn’t me trying to explain anything. This is very much me exploring something with someone who I feel I know. And I want people to sort of come along and get to know him, too, during the book, during the series of letters.
CUNO: Yeah, in your sixth letter, you tell us your friend was born in a stone house at 6 Camondo Street in the Galata neighborhood of Constantinople. What were his family’s early circumstances?
DE WAAL: So the Camondo family are a sort of plutocratic Sephardic Jewish family—bankers and merchants. And they’re one of those sort of dynastic families who were quite sort of gripping, really, because they connect from one country to another.
They’re very much sort of on the edges of lots of different countries. And they began in the eighteenth century and became hugely well-off. And then like lots of Jewish families in the nineteenth century, they’re on the move. They turn up in Paris in the 1860s, just at the same time as my own Jewish family turn up in Paris. So they’re parallel Jewish dynastic families. But there’s always this feeling of them coming from somewhere else, or this sort of hidden backstory of somewhere else behind them.
CUNO: In your next letter, you introduce us to your family, the Ephrussi, if I pronounced that correctly, Ephrussi family.
DE WAAL: That’s correct, yeah.
CUNO: And how they came into Paris and to the Rue de Monceau, by chance, ten houses away from Moïse’s family. What were the early circumstances of your family, and when did they meet the Camondo family?
DE WAAL: It’s kind of rather wonderful, because they arrive in exactly the same moment in Paris. But my own family, the Ephrussi family, they’re Odessan. They come from Odessa, on the very southernmost part of the Russian Empire, which is now Ukraine, of course. And like the Camondos, they’ve made a fortune. In my family’s case, with grain and banking.
And they’ve sent their children off both to Vienna and to Paris to sort of marry good Jewish girls and become dynastic financiers. And so they meet instantly. You have to imagine—it’s a rather beautiful story—you have to imagine a street which is being constructed in about 1868, when they arrive, 1869. It’s half built. Beautiful hill; there’s a park. And all these families arriving from all over Europe and building their own family houses.
And so, of course, they get to know each other. You know, if they’re not gonna meet in synagogue, they’re gonna meet in the street. And so there’s this wonderful sort of matrix—nexus, you could put it—of these families beginning to become French, in the same neighborhood.
CUNO: In spite of Moïse’s instructions that his house museum be kept meticulously clean, it had become, by the time you come across it, quite dusty. And for you, this was a good thing, for as you say, “Without dust, it is harder to find the traces of the past, of one’s existence.” And that’s what you’ve come to do. As you say, “So monsieur, I need to look for the traces.” Tell us about your friend Moïse and the traces he left in this house, and describe the house for us.
DE WAAL: Well, goodness me. I mean, it’s the most stunning house. I mean, you come in off a Parisian street, through great double doors, into a graveled courtyard. And there is a sort of golden house, which looks really like the Petit Trianon in Versailles. It’s a rethinking of an eighteenth century mansion in the middle of Paris, built 1910, by extraordinary architect René Sergent, who builds lots of mansions in America, of course, as well, for the rich.
But what he’s done, what this wonderful, extraordinary collector has done, when you walk through these doors, is to create, really, a fantasy house of eighteenth century furniture, tapestries, porcelains, marbles, sculpture, paintings. And as you navigate your way through the house, you open one door and it’s full of treasures; you open another door and it’s full of this sort of ghostlike other side of the house, which is full of the servants’ quarters, the secret passages, the butlers’ lifts.
There’s a whole parallel world where all the people who made the house work live and move around the house. And then this great sumptuous gilded existence that he puts together. So what I’m trying to do as I walk around the house, I’m trying to get to know this man better, is I’m trying to sort of see not just what he collects, but how he lives in this house, what he’s trying to do.
And you rightly bring up my obsession with dust. It turns up in all the books that I write and the things I make. And I’m always looking for the moments when you can really genuinely sense how he lived. Not what he wanted you to see, but how he genuinely lived. And I find them.
CUNO: It’s extraordinary that Moïse kept so many archived memories of his family, and that you found them and spent time studying them.
DE WAAL: Well, amazingly enough, I was there yesterday in Paris, in the archives. It’s the first time in— since before this appalling pandemic that I’d been back in Paris. And I was back in those archives. And you have to imagine going up the stairs, into these beautiful— They’re plastered rooms at the top of the house, the attic rooms, beautiful light coming through. And you open one room and it’s lined with oak. It’s an oak-lined room.
And every cupboard you open— One cupboard is full of the bank records, all the way back to Constantinople at the middle of the nineteenth century. Another one is full of all his correspondence. You know, archived, duplicated, in beautiful envelopes. Another line of his books are full of his— the records of his hunting trips out in the forest; another one of his— all his recipes for the menus for his dinner parties.
You open another cupboard and it’s got Louis Vuitton luggage from 1920. And another one which is full of lightbulbs from 1915. And another one which is full of the extraordinary easels on which Impressionist paintings were bought when they were bought from Degas. I mean, it’s just extraordinary.
But what you’ve got, you’ve got this obsessional, extraordinary, deep holding together, dusty holding together of where he comes from and his life. And you get this extraordinary pulse, this feeling that here is someone who wants to pass something on, who wants to keep something together, and pass it forward into history. And it’s all there.
CUNO: All that archive material underpins the museum itself. And you quote the twentieth century philosopher and cultural critic Walter Benjamin as describing the arrangement of furniture in a mansion such as this one as being like, “the site of deadly traps. A suite of rooms prescribes the path of the fleeing victim.” What do you think he meant by that?
DE WAAL: Well, I mean, that’s such a joke because that comes from his amazing notes that Benjamin writes, where he’s talking about the houses of the very rich in the Belle Époche. And he says you are so trapped by the furnishings, you know, all this velvet furniture, by your possessions, that you can’t escape. It’s like, you know, these great mansions are like a murder mystery about to happen.
This really refers to the house that he pulled down, actually, his parents’ house, which was even more ornate and even more full of astonishing, gilded furniture. I refer the fact that the house that my father grew up in in Vienna was even worse. You know, more gilded furniture, more terrible family portraits of the Belle Époche.
And so what Benjamin is saying is that when you look analytically at architecture and buildings, you have to try and imagine how people are living, and whether they’re creating a space for themselves, for their children, that is a place of refuge or place of escape. He’s trying to say, what do these houses mean for these great Jewish families? What are they trying to say by building and collecting these extraordinary quantities of possessions?What’s going on?
And he says they are sites of deadly traps. And of course, what he doesn’t say and what he couldn’t know is that, of course, ultimately, they were absolutely that. They became deadly later on in the century.
CUNO: Who was Irène Cahen d’Anvers, and what is her role in your story?
DE WAAL: So Irène Cahen d’Anvers is the daughter of another Parisian Jewish clan, another Parisian Jewish banking family who live very close by. My own family are very close to them; the Camondo are very close to them. They all intermarry. And Irène marries as a young woman. She marries Moïse. He’s thirty-five; she’s practically only eighteen. And it’s sort of one of those sort of dynastic marriages, arranged marriages that sort of haunt these families.
And it’s a profoundly unhappy marriage. They have two children. Nissim, the little boy, and Béatrice, the girl. And then they separate after two or three years. She runs off with a rather raffish, rakish riding instructor, and eventually marries him. He’s a— he’s a ne’er-do-well society man. I found a picture of him in his riding gear, wearing a monocle. And you’d cross the street to avoid the man, I have to say.
One thing that does sort of happen very early on with Irène, and it underpins my letters and really, my narrative in the whole book, is that she’s painted with her sisters, by Renoir, when they’re children. My family, Charles Ephrussi, who was a cousin of my great-grandfather, the figure who I write my last book, The Hare with Amber Eyes, about, persuades this family—and many families—to commission Renoirs to paint all their children, to paint family portraits.
And Renoir paints Irène beautifully as a small girl with fair hair, in a blue robe, sitting in the garden in Paris. It’s an enchanting portrait. And it sort of haunts the book, haunts my letters to Monsieur Camondo.
CUNO: Tell us more about Nissim.
DE WAAL: So Nissim, the son, he’s not terribly bright. He’s a very nice, not terribly bright boy. But obviously, hugely affectionate. At the beginning of the Great War in 1914, he, like a good loyal French citizen, he joins the army. He joins the new flying corps, and tragically, in 1917, his plane is shot down over the front.
And there’s a sort of tragic series of letters where Monsieur Camondo has no idea what’s happened to his son. And there’re search parties looking for him—the plane has gone down in flames; they don’t know. And people write to him. And Proust writes a very beautiful letter to Camondo about his son, saying, you know, I’m with you in this moment of waiting and of anxiety and grief.
Finally, they discover that his son has been killed, was shot down. And then there is this sort of dreadful process of trying to repatriate his body from a German cemetery, which eventually happens after the war. But what happens, Jim, is that Monsieur Camondo, this great collector, his life is irrevocably, irrevocably changed by the loss of his son. Everything changes at that moment.
CUNO: Now, your grandmother, Elizabeth Ephrussi, comes into the picture about this time, in 1922. She moves to Paris in 1928 and marries your grandfather, a Dutchman. Tell us the circumstances of their meeting.
DE WAAL: So my grandmother, born in Vienna, of course, and a scholar and a writer, moves to Paris and has a wonderful life in Paris. She lives with one of her great cousins. She visits the Camondo family. But she falls in love with my grandfather, the middle of the 1920s. He’s a businessman. And she marries him in ’28. They live in Paris for a very happy few years, just on the edge of the Bois de Boulogne. That’s where my father and uncle are born.
And my father, who is still with us—he’s in his mid-nineties now—recalls this life of Paris, as being rather wonderful, actually, growing up in Paris right at the end of the twenties, beginning of the thirties. And really, I bring my grandmother into the whole story partly because this is a family story I’m writing.
But I’m writing to the Count Camondo. I’m writing to a cousin of my grandmother’s and someone she knew. So I bring in her and my father and their upbringing in Paris, just to kind of bring this— The family connections all mesh together, and I wanted to bring that alive.
CUNO: Now, it’s because of the death of his son Nissim that Moïse convents his house into a museum, the Musée Nissim de Camondo, with specific restrictions on how things should be displayed. You say that what Nissim’s father did was perverse. You say it takes a bet on the future. What do you mean by that?
DE WAAL: What he’s doing is quite extraordinary. What he’s trying to do, Jim, is to say that he wants to give this house, a perfect house, in memory of his son, and indeed, in memory of his father, to France.France, because France has welcomed them.
Now, in order to do that, he wants to make something which is completely perfect, a house which embodies what he thinks is a quintessential view of France at its most civilized period, the end of the eighteenth century. This is the time, as you know, when Napoleon gives equal rights to Jews, the first time that Jews have equal rights in any European country.
So for him, France is the epitome of a civilized country. So he puts this collection together, and it’s really, really important to him, and perverse. Because what he says is, “When I leave this house to France as my great gift, nothing should be moved. Everything will be as it should be. Nothing should be loaned to any museum at all.” And this has been heartbreak for curators and museum directors ever since, endlessly trying to borrow things from the Musée Camondo, without avail.
“But everything should stay together, because what I’ve done is to make a complete work of art, a complete environment, where every single clock and garniture of porcelain and tapestry and everything works together. And so that when you walk through the doors, you will experience the house as if I have just left it, as if I’ve just closed the door and walked across the courtyard.”
So a bet on the future. What he’s saying is, France will accept this gift and will remember our family as being great benefactors and loyal citizens of France. And of course, you know— Well, we know what happens next.
CUNO: You quote Benjamin again at this moment, when he wrote, “The collector stills his fate. And that means he disappears into the worlds of memory.”
DE WAAL: Well, that’s it, isn’t it? I mean, for goodness sake, you have stewardship over extraordinary collections, and this is part of the sort of warp and weft of how we think about museum collections, is we often look at museums and see particular collections that have come into museums as complete entities with the proviso that nothing should leave, that this is a gift which has to be kept intact. And what that’s doing is someone’s saying, “My name will continue. My taste will continue. My passion and my scholarship and my reach into the world will continue, because my collection is in the Wallace Collection or in the British Museum or the Victoria & Albert Museum, or in the Getty, or has its own particular house and space, as in the Camondo.
So you still your fate. What you’re trying to do is you’re trying to pause the world, slow the world down. What you’re trying to do is resist diaspora, resist objects disappearing into the world, moving around the world, as they do, as we know they do.
CUNO: Now, in 1936, the Camondo house was turned over to the Musée des Arts Décoratifs. What was the effect of that on the character of the museum? You just described it so eloquently, the character, the shift, the change from a private museum to a public museum.
DE WAAL: So it’s an amazing moment. You know, he’s died. There’s a great ceremony in the courtyard. The great Minister of Culture, Jean Zay, accepts the museum on behalf of the French state. There’s a guidebook published instantly.
But then what happens is that there’s a route through the house, with little velvet ropes. You’ll remember this from going around museums in the 1960s and seventies, those little channels you got channeled through period rooms. And so what happens is you’re led through the house in a very particular way. And this moment, you know, great sections of the house are shuttered, are left alone.
The kitchens are closed. The servants quarters are closed. The door up to the attics is closed. And so what you see is this perfect eighteenth century house. What you don’t see is all the stuff that kept it going, the minutiae of the grand living of the earlier part of the century.It’s a sort of staging of the house in a different way.
CUNO: Four years later, on October 4th, 1940, a law was passed in France to intern foreign Jews. Lives were threatened, and the Musée Nissim de Camondo and its collection were at risk. Tell us about the fate of the collection and the lives of those associated with it, especially Léon Reinach and his family.
DE WAAL: So that terrible, terrible moment— I mean, the moment starts when the Wehrmacht walk in, unopposed, to Paris, in 1940. Vichy France, as you say— Before anyone has done anything, Vichy France and Pétain pass the first laws. And then there are all the subsequent laws, which start progressively to strip Jewish citizens of France of their rights. Their rights to employments, their rights of where they can live, of what they can own. There are the laws passed to wear the yellow star.
There are the periodic roundups which then become more and more frequent of Jewish citizens. And they’re taken to the particular camp on the edges of Paris, Drancy, which is the camp guarded by French policemen—you have to say this, you have to remember this—which then takes people—children, women, men—on to the camps in Poland and Germany.
So while that is all happening, there’s the stripping away of art collections, of possessions, from Jewish citizens. And the house that Irène grew up in becomes a camp where crockery and bedding which is looted from Jewish houses is sorted out and passed onto the SS. And the family, Moïse’s daughter Béatrice and her husband Léon and their two young children, both teenagers, Fanny and Bertrand, they try and escape.
They try all kinds of things to try and evade what’s going on. But ultimately, all four of them are arrested and taken to that camp Drancy, that camp. This is the moment when, you know, you have to reflect. There’s a very—poignant doesn’t really say it—tragic letter, where Léon Reinach writes from the camp saying, you know, “Our families have given so much to France. People have died in the First War. My family have given a huge house and collection in the South of France, the Villa Carellas to France. My wife Béatrice’s family have given the Camondo Collection to France. The Louvre is full of pictures we’ve given. You know, we’re good French citizens.” And there’s a response from the particular SS adjutant who’s responsible for looking at these letters, who just writes, “Non. No. No response” across the letter. And what happens, of course, is that all four of them are deported on the convoys to Auschwitz and they’re murdered in 1944. And finally, Béatrice Camondo Reinach is murdered in 1945.
CUNO: This gives a deeper meaning to the earlier reference to dust and ash and the stories they trace.
DE WAAL: It gives such a meaning to the meaning of this place. That’s why it’s so inescapable as a presence in Paris, in Europe, in our imagination, this house, because it’s created as a memorial to a son who dies in the First World War. It’s given to France to thank France for their generosity in allowing this civilized, interesting, normal French-assimilated family to settle.
And then four years later they’re humiliated; and six years later they’re arrested; and seven years later they’re murdered. So the question is, Jim, you know, what does a memorial mean? There it is; it’s a memorial for a lost son, created by Moïse de Camondo, who I write to saying, you know, “I can understand what you’re trying to do, but memorials don’t fit their purpose.” They’re fissile.
When I go into that house, when I go into those archives, it— Nothing fits. It’s just— it’s just painful. It’s just profoundly, profoundly painful.
CUNO: You write that, “Objects carry a variety of meanings. They belong in all the senses. They are unresolved, unsettled, essais.” What do you mean by that?
DE WAAL: I suppose I mean that we might want to think of objects as finished things, as things that are sort of— They’re made and, you know, they’re passed on, and some of them in up in vitrines and beautiful glass cases in museums, and some of them might be in our homes, and some of them are lost. But they’re not settled.
I really mean this. I mean this as a maker of things and as a teller of stories about things—is that they are profoundly unsettling. They are in different tenses. When you pick an object up, not only do you begin to understand how it was made, it’s facture, the people who made it; but you can also, I think, begin to start to tell the story about the people whose hands it was in.
You can begin to try and understand what presence it had in people’s lives. And that’s a very unsettling— It should be unsettling. We shouldn’t think that we own objects in a kind of commodified and curatorially perfect way, because we don’t. We really, truly don’t. Objects carry all kinds of profound and often devastating stories. And that’s why we absolutely need to be in these places and begin again, tell these stories again, right from the beginning.
CUNO: You tell the stories of the life and afterlife of objects, and we’ve mentioned already the Renoir portraits of Louise Cahen d’Anvers’ daughters. Tell us that story.
DE WAAL: Well, there are these two beautiful portraits of these young Jewish girls. And one of them, the portrait of the two daughters, ends up in São Paulo. It’s in a beautiful museum in São Paulo. But one of the little girls dies in Auschwitz; the other marries an English general. I mean, how extraordinary that should be, that particular story. Blue and Pink, it’s called as a portrait.
And then the picture of Irène, it’s looted by the Gestapo. Goering briefly has it because his wife likes pictures by Renoir. And bluntly, Irène looks like a Gentile girl. And then Goering swaps it for some other artifact. It’s looted; it ends up in Germany during the war. It comes back to the Musée D’Orsay. Well, the Jeu de Paume, in the Louvre, where it’s hanging on the wall.
And Irène survives the war. In the strangest circumstances, she survives the war, even though her daughter and her grandchildren are murdered. And she reclaims the portrait after the war. And then— I mean, it’s almost unsayable, really, Jim. She sells it, this portrait. And she sells it to a particular collector, Swiss collector, who actually has made his fortune from selling armaments to the Nazis. And now it’s hanging in a Swiss museum.
And there is this story. There is this extraordinary painful story of this portrait, which has had all these lives. One life after another after another. And you know what? It needs telling. The story needs telling. It’s not a comfortable story at all.
CUNO: Your book ends with you in the archives of the Musée de Nissim de Camondo, thinking precisely of what you just spoke about—the mobility of things and the traces of lives they leave behind. What’s the condition of the museum today?
DE WAAL: Well, it’s in a very interesting state. You know, it’s much visited, it’s beautifully looked after. It’s a place of scholarship. There are wonderful books and things that are happening, exhibitions that— I think I began writing to him, began haunting this particular space, partly because several years ago, I was asked to make an exhibition for the house. And I’ve been working on that and it’s been years now delayed, but it’s now happening in October.
So what I’ve been working on is to try and make some objects which I can bring into the house, which sort of repopulate the house, bring the family back in. And so what I was doing yesterday, actually in Paris, was to take some objects and put them down and see how they felt in the house.
I’ve been making letters and writing them into porcelain. And I’m putting these letters down on his desks in different parts of the house. I’ve made things to go into the attics, into those extraordinary sort of spaces high up. No one will see them, but I’ve made objects to go into those attics and I will just close the cupboards and they’ll be there. It’s not grand. I’ve made things to repopulate the house.
So the book is a way of trying to retell the story. The exhibition is a way of bringing a different kind of life into the house. But of course, that will be there for a few months, and then this extraordinary palpable silence of that house will be there all over again.
CUNO: Yeah, that silence is haunting throughout the book. One gets the impression that the house is unoccupied, even with you alone in the house.
DE WAAL: It’s absolutely that. You know, it’s a profound silence. I sat there yesterday morning and I was sort of waiting. I didn’t quite know what I was waiting for, but I sort of was sort of waiting for the sound of someone,you know, bringing a tray with some porcelain and a cup of tea on it. Or the sound of a voice somewhere on a telephone or someone closing a door. There was absolutely no sound at all.
And in some ways, you know, we’ve talked about this over the years, but how do you make a memorial? How do you make something which has presence? And in some ways, that silence is it. You know, that is the silence that you want to spend time with. You just need to spend time with that silence.
CUNO: Well, thank you, Edmund. I think we must fall silent now. But it’s always been a pleasure speaking with you, and I’d love to do it again.
DE WAAL: It’s a huge pleasure. Thank you so much. I’ve loved this. Thank you, Jim. Thank you so much.
CUNO: This episode was produced by Zoe Goldman, with audio production by Gideon Brower and mixing by Mike Dodge Weiskopf. Our theme music comes from the “The Dharma at Big Sur” composed by John Adams, for the opening of the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles in 2003, and is licensed with permission from Hendon Music. Look for new episodes of Art and Ideas every other Wednesday, subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and other podcast platforms. For photos, transcripts, and more resources, visit or if you have a question, or an idea for an upcoming episode, write to us at Thanks for listening.

JIM CUNO: Hello, I’m Jim Cuno, president of the J. Paul Getty Trust. Welcome to Art and Ideas, a podcast in which I speak to artists, conservators, authors, and scholars about their work.
EDMUND DE WAAL: When you pick an object up, not only do you begin to understand how it was made, it...

Music Credits
“The Dharma at Big Sur – Sri Moonshine and A New Day.” Music written by John Adams and licensed with permission from Hendon Music. (P) 2006 Nonesuch Records, Inc., Produced Under License From Nonesuch Records, Inc. ISRC: USNO10600825 & USNO10600824

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