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Kettle’s Yard

Kettle's Yard

Kettle’s Yard photo by Prioner 5413

Castle Street, Cambridge CB3 0AQ
Tel: +44 (0) 1223 748100
Email: mail@kettlesyard.cam.ac.uk

A display of art without the pretences of a standard gallery: Kettle’s Yard in Cambridge, United Kingdom, holds the collections and harmonization of art curator Jim Ede. Jim acquired and started the house in 1958 when he and his wife Helen moved from their London home and his job at the Tate Gallery.

Kettle’s Yard does offer a gallery of artwork, but Jim wanted to build the collection and display the works in a natural manner. The paintings, sculptures, and sets blend with the household objects. This way, visitors can experience how the pieces inspire independently and in the context of a room filled with similarly-themed objects.

The artwork includes pieces created by Ben and Winifred Nicholson, Alfred Wallis, Christopher Wood, David Jones and Joan Miro, Henri Gaudier-Brzeska, Constantin Brancusi, Henry Moore and Barbara Hepworth. Jim visited and developed a close friendship with many of the artists, especially Joan Miro and Christopher Wood.

Kettle's Yard

Painting by Christopher Wood

Visitors to Kettle’s Yard should pay close attention to the unique way Jim designed the rooms. Capturing the natural light through the windows, he positioned the artwork based on the influences of the light and dark. He also worked with the shadows at different times of the day and year to support the emotions provoked by each piece.

For example, sitting on the lid of the piano is the egg-like sculpture created by Constantin Brancusi and named ‘Prometheus’. The piece’s reflection shines on the piano, giving onlookers the sense the object is floating and counteracting the weight of the object.

Jim Ede meant for his collections to also present an educational opportunity for students to learn about art in a natural setting. He invited people to explore his house even while he lived there. Eventually, he gave Kettle’s Yard to the University of Cambridge, and he and his wife moved to Edinburgh in 1973.

Map and Directions for Kettle’s Yard

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