Kettle's Yard

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Kettle's Yard
The cottages which comprise the main house of Kettle's Yard
The cottages which comprise the main house of Kettle's Yard
Coordinates52°12′39″N 0°06′51″E / 52.2109°N 0.1141°E / 52.2109; 0.1141
Collectionsart collections
Visitors231,941 (2019)[1]
FounderJim Ede
DirectorAndrew Nairne
OwnerUniversity of Cambridge
University of Cambridge Museums

Kettle's Yard is an art gallery and house in Cambridge, England.[2] The director of the art gallery is Andrew Nairne. Both the house and gallery reopened in February 2018 after an expansion of the facilities.[3]

History and overview[edit]

The gallery facade on Castle Street as it looked before the 2018 redevelopment

Kettle's Yard House and Gallery lies on the west side of Castle Street, between Northampton Street and St Peter's Church.

It was originally the Cambridge home of Jim Ede and his wife Helen.[4] Moving to Cambridge in 1956, they converted four small cottages with the help of Winton Aldridge into one idiosyncratic house and a place to display Ede's collection of early 20th-century art. Ede maintained an 'open house' each afternoon, giving any visitors, particularly students, a personal tour of his collection.

In 1966, Ede gave the house and collection to the University of Cambridge, but continued living there before he and his wife moved to Edinburgh in 1973.[4] The house is preserved as the Edes left it, making a very informal space to enjoy the permanent collection and live music.[5] In 1970, the house was extended, adding an exhibition gallery in a contrasting modernist style by Leslie Martin.

The house and gallery temporarily closed in June 2015 during a major building project to create a four-floor education wing, improved exhibition galleries, a new entrance area and a café.[6] A series of gentle additions by Jamie Fobert Architects offers greatly improved support services for visitors, including a new courtyard and welcome area and a new shop.[7][8] The project cost £11,000,000 including £2,320,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund[9] and £3,700,000 from Arts Council England. The interior of the house has been left untouched.

During the closure, there were displays of the collection at the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge and the Jerwood Gallery in Hastings.

Kettle's Yard is part of the University of Cambridge Museums consortium.[10]

Permanent collection[edit]

An exhibition of Diet Sayler in the gallery in 2000
Christopher Wood Self-portrait (1927)[11]

The permanent collection is composed of paintings, sculptures and objects collected by Ede. It is largely based on associations and friendships formed when Ede was a curator at Tate Gallery, and as such it is biased towards works from the British avant-garde of the first half of the 20th century.

Ian Hamilton Finlay described Ede's "fusion of art and found objects" on an inscribed pebble as "the Louvre of the pebble".[12]

Notable artists represented in the collection are:

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "ALVA - Association of Leading Visitor Attractions". Retrieved 9 November 2020.
  2. ^ Kettle's Yard, Culture 24, UK.
  3. ^ Brown, Mark (4 December 2017). "Works by artist who died in Grenfell fire to be shown at Cambridge gallery". The Guardian. Retrieved 5 December 2017.
  4. ^ a b "Kettle's yard house". Archived from the original on 31 July 2008. Retrieved 17 September 2008.
  5. ^ "Kettle's Yard music - chamber concerts". Archived from the original on 18 May 2011. Retrieved 30 March 2011.
  6. ^ "Development plans – Kettle's Yard".
  7. ^ "Work; Kettle's Yard". Retrieved 2 February 2018.
  8. ^ Wainwright, Oliver (2 February 2018). "Kettle's Yard's rebirth: 'A magical sequence of spaces worth the 14-year wait'". The Guardian. Retrieved 2 February 2018.
  9. ^ "Latest news". Archived from the original on 1 April 2011. Retrieved 30 March 2011.
  10. ^ McPhee, Jo (6 August 2013). "Our Museums".
  11. ^ "Self-Portrait, 1927". Retrieved 27 December 2018.
  12. ^ Exhibition catalogue 'Beauty and Revolution: The Poetry and Art of Ian Hamilton Finlay' Kettles Yard, Cambridge 2014

External links[edit]