Kettle's Yard was originally the Cambridge home of Jim Ede and his wife Helen. Moving to Cambridge in 1956, they converted four small cottages 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 a personal tour of his collection.
In 1966, Ede gave the house and collection to the University of Cambridge, but continued living there before moving to Edinburgh in 1973. In 1970, the house was extended, adding an exhibition gallery in a contrasting modernist style by Leslie Martin.
Today, 'the house' is preserved as the Edes left it, making a very informal space to enjoy the permanent collection and live music. 'The gallery' has longer opening times and displays a programme of visiting exhibitions, principally by 20th century and 21st century artists. A £5,000,000 appeal to help extend and enhance the gallery is under way.
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 curator at Tate Gallery, as such it is biased towards works from the British avant-garde of the first half of the 20th century.
Notable artists represented in the collection are: