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Café, galleries and shop: Tuesday – Sunday 11am – 5pm

House: Tuesday – Sunday 12  – 5pm

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Last entry to the House is at 4.30pm

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2 August 2019


Behind the door of Jim’s bathroom in the House at Kettle’s Yard is a drawing of ‘Two Girls’ by a five-year-old child. That child was Jane Adams, Jim and Helen’s granddaughter. As part of our Archive Day event in December 2018, we had the great pleasure of hearing Jane reading passages from her self-published book, Lighthouse in Kettle’s Yard, which explores her memories of Kettle’s Yard and her grandparents, and how its atmosphere and friends and artists pervaded her childhood and influenced her own life and work.

Helen Ede, 1974 by Jane Adams

‘Her hair, the colour of dark honey, rippled around her high square forehead. When she grew old and small, it became silky-straight, soft and white, and she wore it short with a fringe. Her nose was quite small and firm, with an obstinate curve; her blue eyes witheringly surveyed the fools, or lit up with gentle gaiety. Helen Schlapp Ede wore long homespun skirts over her sturdy hips, a grey silk blouse and a brooch. With her cackling laughter and acidic Scots accent, she allowed her offspring to raucously and devotedly tease her. Her voice resounds beyond her physical body. Some of her crisp sour ways of speech still circulate, generations later, among great-grandchildren she never knew…Her hands were lean and delicate. She was an accomplished seamstress. She outwitted the post-war coupons for her daughters and industriously clothed them and her grandchildren year by year.’ 

Jim Ede, 1974 by Jane Adams

‘Jim enthralled his grandchildren for years with tales of the Wicked Prince.  They were picturesque and shocking. He made them up as he went along, rather like when he took visitors around Kettle’s Yard. The saga came to a sudden end, at about the time Jim decided to give Kettle’s Yard to the University of Cambridge.  No matter how much we pestered him, he wouldn’t budge. To this day, the Wicked Prince rolls pebbles around in the sky whenever it thunders…searching for the gem, the perfect stone.’

As Jane describes it, ‘This is a book which fishes for gold and feelings – a ‘pandora box’ of paintings, sketches, poetry, prose and philosophy.  It may be read from cover to cover or dipped into, like visiting pictures in a gallery.’

The book is ‘put together compositionally like a painting or human landscape. You can go for a wander in it as if you were visiting the House. You’ll find many of my drawings and paintings at different stages of life; you will find old photographs, voices, personalities, some autobiographical impressions, poetry and unpublished family letters.’

‘My grandparents keep the light for me, as their influence quietly prevails in people’s lives around the world.’

You can find out more about Lighthouse in Kettle’s Yard and purchase a copy at