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Works by Jeremy Deller, Edmund de Waal, Oscar Murillo, Cornelia Parker and Richard Long will be among those on display when Kettle’s Yard, Cambridge university’s revamped modern art gallery, reopens next year.
Jamie Fobert Architects, which was responsible for the recent expansion of Tate St Ives, is creating new display rooms and other areas at the unconventional gallery space with four 19th-century cottages at its centre. The new building will reopen in February, after a two-year renovation.
Kettle’s Yard was created in the late 1950s by Jim Ede, a curator at the Tate Gallery during the 1920s who became a friend to many prominent artists of the time, including Ben and Winifred Nicholson, Alfred Wallis, Christopher Wood, Joan Miró, Henri Gaudier-Brzeska, Constantin Brancusi, Henry Moore and Barbara Hepworth.
He bought the rundown cottages in Cambridge and turned them into a home, before modelling them as galleries for his extensive art collection and flinging open the doors to visitors. Students were invited in every weekday afternoon during the Cambridge university term and guided round by Ede himself — “unhampered”, as he put it, “by the greater austerity of the museum or public art gallery.”
Ede would even lend paintings and drawings from the collection to students to place on the walls of their accommodations for a modest fee. The scheme continues to this day.
Ede donated the buildings and their contents to Cambridge university in 1966 before retiring to Edinburgh. He died in 1990 at the age of 94.
The New Kettle’s Yard received £3.7m in funding from Arts Council England and £2.3m from the Heritage Lottery Fund, as well as donations from institutional and private donors.
New commissions and works not seen before at Kettle’s Yard will feature in “Actions. The image of the world can be different”, the first exhibition after its reopening. The show will be inspired by a letter written to Ede by the artist Naum Gabo.