Kettle’s Yard House & Gallery

Currently closed while we carry out a major building project

+44 (0)1223 748 100
mail@kettlesyard.cam.ac.uk

Kettle’s Yard: Off site

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Kettle’s Yard: Looking Ahead

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and other unusual signs by Jim Ede

In the Kettle’s Yard house labels are not used alongside the works of art. In part this is due to Jim Ede’s wish for it to be “a living place where works of art would be enjoyed, inherent to the domestic setting, where young people could be at home unhampered by the greater austerity of the museum or public art gallery, and where an informality might infuse an underlying formality.” Jim’s desire for a ‘lived in’ environment was matched with a focus on balance, each object, art work and piece of furniture placed so that it created a perfectly balanced whole. It could be said that to label certain objects, identifying them from the milieu, might disrupt Jim’s balanced vision, which turned the whole house into an artwork in itself.

However on occasions, with the events and music at Kettle’s Yard, it was necessary for some kind of signage to be used – and below you can see some hand written ones by Jim himself. Ranging from signs directing people to not open windows during music concerts to the price of a replica of ‘Dog’ by Henri Gaurier-Brzeska (5 pence).  These hand written signs were found when we emptied a section of the Kettle’s Yard house in preparation for essential maintenance work. Things like this are really wonderful to discover, giving a snapshot into Jim’s time at Kettle’s Yard and imagining why certain signs came to be… “Please leave candle above for me to take down – Jim Ede”.