The Alliance for the Arts continues its monthly Member Gallery Book Club on Tuesday, March 18 with a discussion of Edmund de Waal's The Hare with Amber Eyes: A Hidden Inheritance.
Edmund de Waal is a world-famous ceramicist. Having spent thirty years making beautiful pots - which are then sold, collected, and handed on - he has a particular sense of the secret lives of objects. When he inherited a collection of 264 tiny Japanese wood and ivory carvings, called netsuke, he wanted to know who had touched and held them, and how the collection had managed to survive. And so begins this extraordinarily moving memoir and detective story as de Waal discovers both the story of the netsuke and of his family, the Ephrussis, over five generations.
A nineteenth-century banking dynasty in Paris and Vienna, the Ephrussis were as rich and respected as the Rothchilds. Yet by the end of the World War II, when the netsuke were hidden from the Nazis in Vienna, this collection of very small carvings was all that remained of their vast empire.
The Member Gallery Book Club meets from 7-9 p.m. on the third Tuesday of every month. Club members must purchase their own copy of each book. Pre-registration is encouraged – all that’s required is an active Alliance membership. The club continues on Tuesday, April 15 with a discussion of Girl with a Pearl Earring by Tracy Chevalier.