06 Nov 2023

A visit to Kettle's Yard

Kettle’s Yard has been on my list for some years now and last week I finally made the pilgrimage.  It was once the home of Jim and Helen Ede.  Jim had been a curator at the Tate Gallery and a lifelong friend of artists and collector.    In the 1950s Jim bought 3 cottages in an undesirable, quiet part of Cambridge and opened them up into one home where he lived and displayed his collection of art, textiles and objects.  The 1970s brought an extension for temporary exhibitions and today hosts a programme of events, exhibitions and educational activities.

The space is beautiful in its simplicity and houses a vast collection of art including works by Max Ernst, L.S Lowry, Barbara Hepworth and Henry Moore. There are no labels but instead little floor plans in every room and art is hung high and (very) low.  Unusually, for a space such as this, visitors are allowed to sit on the chairs within the rooms, encouraging you to take the time to reflect and enjoy the space.  As a visitor there is so much to absorb, yet it feels restful and relaxed, not to mention inspirational. 

The house and collection were given to the University of Cambridge by the Edes in 1966.

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