Kettles Yard

Kettle’s Yard in Cambridge is an endless source of inspiration for interior designers. This modest set of cottages was transformed into a light-filled home and art lover’s paradise, home of Jim and Helen Ede from 1957 to 1973. It contains their diverse collection of art, ceramics, textiles, furniture and natural objects.

Jim Ede often described himself as a ‘friend of artists’, and much of his collection was acquired through these friendships. During the 1920s, when working at the Tate gallery in London, he became close friends with artists including Ben and Winifred Nicholson, Christopher Wood and David Jones. Trips on official gallery business to Paris led to meetings with some of the key figures of the artistic avant-garde, including Pablo Picasso, Marc Chagall, Joan Miró and Constantin Brancusi.

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. The house is preserved as the Edes left it, making a very informal space to enjoy the permanent collection. In 1970, the house was extended, adding an exhibition gallery in a contrasting modernist style by Leslie Martin.

Given the care devoted by Jim to the display of objects and artworks and to creating subtle conversations between them, since his departure the house has been preserved virtually unchanged. Today many consider it a work of art in its own right.

The house can be visited along side a trip to the main gallery.