Our intrepid culture vultures, Dot Rickards and Malcolm Cooper (accompanied by Bennett) descended on Kettle’s Yard at the weekend. For those who haven’t paid a visit already, it’s a contemporary art gallery in Cambridge, department of the University of Cambridge, music venue and former home of Jim and Helen Ede.

We discovered a fascinating place where modern art, fine furniture, ceramics, glass and natural objects come together in beautiful and light spaces.

For 15 years from 1958 and 1973, Kettle’s Yard was home to Jim and Helen Ede. Back in the 1920’s and 1930’s, Jim had been a curator at the Tate Gallery in London, and it was there that he built friendships with artists that would allow him, despite his lack of wealth, to amass a great collection of art from many leading artists.

The Ede’s originally opened their doors to students every term time afternoon and would show them around their home. Then in 1966 they gave the house and it’s contents to Cambridge University. Three years before the Edes retired to Edinburgh in 1970, the University extended their home and added an exhibition gallery to make the space more accessible for more visitors. The venue was redeveloped once again in 2015 adding an education wing, more gallery improvements and a café.

The gallery hosts many significant exhibitions as well as classical and contemporary music events, which we’ve added to our bucket list. On the day we visited the gallery was hosting a fascinating exhibition of works by Richard Pousette-Dart, which ends on the 6th January 2019.

The gallery space is open to all visitors during opening times, whilst the house space is smaller and limited, so you need to pick up a free ticket from reception when you arrive and you’ll get a time slot for a guided tour. Well worth the wait.

The gallery space is quite accessible although there are some stairs. The house is less accessible but the staff are extremely helpful and we were given access to the upper floors via a staff door. Bennett was also very welcome, and as might have been expected, got more attention than some of the art.

Entrance is free of charge but donations are expected. The nearest car park is Park Street car park, ten minutes walk away, but we did find a number of empty metered spaces just outside on Northampton Street.

Kettle’s Yard is open Tuesday to Sunday, 11am – 5pm. For more information take a look at their website. http://www.kettlesyard.co.uk

If you’ve still got the time and energy after your visit, The Cambridge Folk Museum is right next door, which is another story but well worth a visit.

Photo: Malcolm, Dot and guide dog Bennett standing in front of a large piece of work by Richard Pousette-Dart