Saturday, 15 March 2014

Have you been to Kettle's Yard in Cambridge?

If you haven't been, Kettle's Yard certainly lives up to it's reputation, try and visit soon.
I nearly missed out on the visit because the other three people I was with wanted to look round the Fitzwilliam Museum, I was saved by the fact that Cambridge traffic was disrupted due to the Cambridge marathon, resulting in half the roads being closed. As we were driving round, suddenly the letters spelling out 'Kettle's Yard' appeared on the side of a building at the side of the road, andwe were able to turn into the road beside Kettle's Yard.
Kettle's Yard is the former home of Jim and Helen Ede, Jim was a curator at the Tate Gallery in the 1920s and befriended some of the most promising artists working in London at the time including Ben Nicholson, Henry Moore and Christopher Wood. He began to collect contemporary art, and eventually in 1953 moved to Cambridge and looked for somewhere to display it.
In addition to a house comprised of 4 houses knocked into one, there is also a purpose built  gallery which at the moment is showing a wonderful exhibition entitled 'Art and Life 1920-1931' with work by Ben Nicholson, Winifred Nicholson, Christopher Wood, Alfred Wallis and William Staite Murray
Here's the catalogue cover:

And Ben Nicholson's 'Cornish Port'
Winifred Nicholson's flower paintings were fabulous, so bright, lively and conveyed her love of flowers so well, I've included 'Polyanthus and Cineraria' here:
I loved them so much, I bought 6 of Winifred's flower paintings on postcards for £3, here's 'Striped Jug of Flowers':
After looking round the gallery we looked round the house which remains as it did when the Edes left in 1973. The experience of visiting the house is wonderful, it's so well thought out, so comfortable and a delight. Jim Ede wanted it to be a place where people would 'find a home and a welcome, a refuge of peace and order, of the visual arts and music...a continuing way of life...in which stray objects, stones, glass, pictures, sculpture' are arranged in 'light and space';.
Here's the cover of the guide book which gives a glimpse of a table top:
There is  more information about current events on the website: www.kettlesyard.co.uk
Kettle's Yard is beside St. Peter's Church, also worth a look:
 And after the delights of Kettle's Yard, there's lots more to do in Cambridge including of course a punt down the river.

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