Appeals: Kettle's Yard

An untitled painting, oil on lino, by Ben Nicholson. The painting is part of the permanent collection at Kettle's Yard, the only contemporary public art gallery in Cambridge. The gallery is about to undergo refurbishment and is appealing to raise a further pounds 150,000 for the project; it has already raised pounds 355,000.

Kettle's Yard was the inspiration of HS (Jim) Ede (1895-1990), a collector and critic of 20th-century art, who was keen to encourage others to appreciate contemporary art. During the 1920s and 1930s Ede had been a curator at the Tate Gallery. In 1957, every afternoon, he opened his then house, which had been four slum dwellings at Kettle's Yard, to students and young people so that they could visit and discuss, enjoy and learn about, art. He described it as 'a living place where works of art could be enjoyed'. Pieces from his collection - by Ben and Winifred Nicholson, Henry Moore, Henri Gaudier-Brzeska, Alfred Wallis, Christopher Wood, Constantin Brancusi, Joan Miro and Barbara Hepworth - were often lent to students for their rooms. No record was kept of this borrowing - all the pieces returned - and the gallery would now like to hear from any of the borrowers.

Ede gave Kettle's Yard and its contents, which included the collection and his furniture, to Cambridge University in 1966, with an endowment for its upkeep. (Nevertheless, the gallery must raise pounds 100,000- pounds 150,000 each year from public donations.) In 1970 a separate gallery was built, designed by Sir Leslie Martin, who collaborated with Ben Nicholson on the art magazine Circle; this allowed for a changing exhibition to be run alongside Ede's permanent collection. The gallery's present exhibition, 'Sense and Sensuality', finishes on Sunday 25 April. The gallery - but not the house, which houses the permanent collection - will be closed from next month until January 1994: the room space will be extended so that two exhibitions can run concurrently. The appeal money will also go towards providing an accessible archive and catalogue of the collection, a cafe and shop and more educational facilities for the 36,000 annual visitors to the gallery.

For further information, contact: Kettle's Yard, Castle Street, Cambridge CB3 0AQ, telephone 0223 352124.

(Photograph omitted)

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