Opening Hours

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

House: Tuesday – Sunday 12  – 5pm

Free, timed entry tickets to the House are available at the information desk on arrival or online here.

Last entry to the House is at 4.30pm

Access Information & Contact Us

Find access information here. 

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

 

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Transcript

Well, my letters from Jim started off full of enthusiasm and it went very well and I quite enjoyed writing to him and telling him what I was doing but things began to break down after a while when I had a set of bookshelves constructed. The library, when I arrived, consistently simply of that set of shelves that is opposite you as you walk into the extension. There was to the right of it a chest of drawers that was stuffed full of catalogues which nobody was able to look at or consult. I started to go through them and thought, there are some really interesting things in here. I thought the only way to deal with this was to build some more shelves so all the shelves that are on the right hand side that go under the window were built on my instructions and I took great care to sculpt out the window. Jim didn’t like that because of course his chest of drawers had been moved and it wasn’t something that he had done and Kettle’s Yard was his work of art, he wouldn’t say so, but it was his work of art, he saw it like that. And worse was yet to come because I moved the sculpture by Gaudier called Caritas from the oval table and put it in the niche by the window because I thought it looked rather nice there, in my innocence. I subsequently realise I actually was wrong. I think it is better where Jim had it on the oval table. But at the time, I thought it looked quite dramatic silhouetted against the daylight. And all hell let loose then. So there were endless letters putting pressure on me to move it and I began to dig my heels in and wouldn’t move it. In the end, I did relent, I think, and I did put it back. The letters would become more and more emotional and more and more he would be receiving reports, I have no idea who from, but from people who had visited or people who lived in Cambridge who were friends about this, that or the other, which I had or hadn’t done. They might have been true and they might not have been true and it just cranked up the whole emotional thing. I continued to read the letters and I continued to respond to them but a lot of the letters were pressurising to do this, do that. ‘You don’t take people round anymore, you don’t do this’, you know, ‘Why do you need an office? Why won’t you put Helen’s bedroom back as it was?’ But actually, before I left, we did re-open Helen’s bedroom with furniture that I think Jim provided.