H S 'Jim' Ede
Harold Stanley ['Jim'] Ede was born on 7 April 1895 near Cardiff. He attended
the Leys School in Cambridge, studied painting at Newlyn Art School and, after
service in the First World War, attended the Slade School of Art in London.
Writing about the formation of Kettle's Yard, Ede mentions that, although
the early inspiration came from his meeting with Ben and Winifred Nicholson
in 1924, his love for painting and his desire to become a painter started
well before that:
'I was 15 at the Leys School in Cambridge and fell in love with early
Italian painting . . . and before that at thirteen when I first visited the
Louvre, saw nothing, but fell for Puvis de Chavannes . . .'
Leaving the Slade after one year, Jim Ede worked in the photographic department
of the National Gallery, London, while continuing to paint. He was then appointed
Assistant at the Tate Gallery, London, a change he describes as 'phenomenal':
'I gave up painting and became absorbed in the work of contemporary artists.
I wrote a great deal about modern painting and sculpture, and came to know
most of the leading artists of the day, and also the ones who were not yet
known.' It was while at the Tate that he formed important friendships
with Ben Nicholson, David Jones and other artists, and acquired the greater
part of the estate of Sophie Brzeska, the partner of the sculptor, Henri Gaudier-Brzeska,
who had been killed in the First World War.
In 1935-36 Ede resigned from the Tate and built a house on the outskirts
of Tangier, Morocco. During the war years Jim travelled to the USA, with Helen,
on lecture tours, with funds raised being contributed to Allied War Relief.
They lived in Morocco until 1952 when they moved to Les Charlottières,
Chailles, near Amboise in the Loire Valley, France. The Edes moved to Cambridge
in 1956 and renovated four derelict cottages to create Kettle's Yard.
Jim and Helen Ede left for Edinburgh in 1973, where Helen died in 1977; Jim
spending the last years of his life as a hospital visitor until his death