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“Interesting”

Kettle's Yard House and Gallery
Ranked #17 of 170 things to do in Cambridge
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: Come to Kettle's Yard to enjoy art in an inspiring setting. Experience changing exhibitions in our new galleries and explore a wonderful collection of art in a historic house. And it is all free. The new Kettle's Yard opened in February 2018 with galleries, creative spaces for activities and a cafe and a shop. There are free, changing exhibitions to visit throughout the year, showing artists from around the world. We also have a variety of events for all ages, from workshops to music concerts. Visit our website to find out what's on. In the House you can enjoy paintings, drawings, sculpture, ceramics and textiles. Works of art are displayed alongside natural objects like shells, pebbles and plants to create a unique place that many enjoy for its tranquility and beauty. We offer lots of art activities for all ages. Many of these are free and drop in, with no need to book. Find out about all our upcoming events on our website.
Reviewed 2 weeks ago

Worth a visit, small but very interesting, good art gallery. Unusual now days to go somewhere free. Had a tasty snack in the small cafe. A good afternoon out.

Thank Felted
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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"kettles yard"
in 23 reviews
"jim ede"
in 22 reviews
"chamber music"
in 3 reviews
"works of art"
in 7 reviews
"original setting"
in 2 reviews
"twentieth century"
in 2 reviews
"the main attraction"
in 3 reviews
"contemporary art"
in 2 reviews
"on display"
in 8 reviews
"temporary exhibition"
in 2 reviews
"treasure trove"
in 3 reviews
"nichols"
in 12 reviews
"curator"
in 9 reviews
"paintings"
in 22 reviews
"tate"
in 4 reviews
"refurb"
in 2 reviews
"ben"
in 9 reviews
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8 - 12 of 180 reviews

Reviewed 3 weeks ago

Having loved Kettles Yard for decades, was agog to see the latest extension: alas, alas, despite £11m cost, it is very disappointing: has none of the qualities of light, height, interesting spaces, of the previous extension (where recitals are sometimes held). The new main entrance is a complete non-event, definitely no 'wow factor' . . . People at the information/ticket desk are pleasant and helpful, but cannot properly see the entrance area, so no welcoming smiles as you go through the main doors. New galleries are fair-sized, but uninteresting, certainly did nothing to help the idiosyncratic temporary exhibition that we saw, which lacked cohension and gained nothing from the unexciting spaces it was in, which could have been any gallery, in any provincial town anywhere . . . The cafe is a disaster – very cramped, customers and staff trying to manoeuvre around one another (order at counter - go back to pick up table number . . ., staff bring items to tables, adding to the chaos); serving area separated from kitchens, generating yet more staff traffic (the latter with steps up to it, surely to be avoided in any catering place?). The food looked very appealing and was not expensive; but we had a long wait for two 'hot' chocolates that cost almost as much as a light meal - nice, but perhaps not surprisingly, they were tepid when they eventually arrived at our table . . .

All this simply means plan to eat/drink elsewhere. It is still infinitely worth queuing and waiting for a free, timed-ticket into the Ede's original, restrained treasure-trove of a house, where nothing can ever change, though everything somehow looked smaller and more modest than remembered. But for a real thrill, clamber (if you can possibly manage it) up the steep stairs to the third floor the Edes added to the original house, to the gallery displaying some of the small but captivating drawings and sketches by Henri Gaudier-Brzeska, prudently acquired by Jim Ede in substantial numbers; there are seats up there too – it's well worth leaving enough time to sit quietly and enjoy this grievously short-lived artist's perceptive brilliance.

Thank Amy A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 February 2018

I had a little while to spare so I popped into Kettles Yard - it has recently re-opened so as much as anything else I wanted to see what the fuss was about.

The main attraction of Kettles yard is the old house owned by Jim Ede, but there is also a couple of gallery spaces, a shop and a café. You have to get a timed ticket to tour the house - numbers are limited. I did not have enough time to wait an hour for the next intake so pottered around the galleries.

The art on display was varied and thought provoking, it made for a very pleasant way to spend half an hour. The staff were approachable and friendly.

TIP: the timed tickets cannot be ordered online just yet (there are plans to make this available in the future) but you can phone in and book a slot. It would be worth your while to do this as the popular times are booked solid.

Thank seattaxi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 February 2018

We went with a friend from the US on the first day it was open to the public after a long refurb. Consequently very, very busy and there was as much fun to be had observing the middle classes of Cambridge and England in a frenzy of appreciation. The refurb was great though when we arrived we were told we were too late to get a pass for the house. (Free though a limited number are available to prevent overcrowding).
Nice art - kept me and the children interested though we can't profess to be experts.

One tiny thing jarred, given the amount of time, thought, effort and money spent on the refurb. The hand rails on the stairs are not finished properly... They're beautiful and custom made for the venue. They cry out to be held as you ascend the stairs. At first touch, as I walked up the stairs, they feel as gorgeous as they look as my right hand. Sensuous. Smooth. A rare opportunity to touch an object in a gallery without fear of being told off. On the way down, my right hand reached out, expecting the same sensation. Oops. It is not the same. The wooden handrails are identical, a circular cross section with a groove underneath to accommodate the fixings. However, on one side, the fixing is a continuous strip of metal with screws at fixing points along the strip. The other side has short strips of metal where the fixing points are then nothing in the groove. I might be a bit OCD but once you notice... :-)

The staff are lovely. Really friendly and rather kind. Our friend was visiting from the US and was sad to miss out on the house. As we were leaving an anonymous docent approached having spoken to me earlier to explain that we needed to book for the house. Someone had been unable to make their appointment and so, while it was strictly against the rules, would I like to jump the queue? I passed for me, we live close by, but it made the trip for our friend. A very nice touch.

1  Thank LateBookMark
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 18 February 2018 via mobile

Kettle’s Yard is the name of the home of former Tate curator Jim Ede and his wife who bought and amalgamated together four cottages to house his remarkable collection of mainly British twentieth century paintings and sculpture. Following his death it was all given to the University of Cambridge and opened to the public following Ede’s own practice of inviting groups of students to his home whilst he still lived in it. Thus it largely remained but for the addition of an adjoining modern exhibition space until summer 2015 when it closed for a multi-million (£11 million in fact) upgrade. It re-opened this February revealing more extensive modern galleries within a three-storied extension majoring upon all the usual accoutrements of the 21st century art gallery such as the bookshop, cafe offering vitamin free quiche, unpasteurised craft beer and deoxygenated water, the discussion space and the upstairs theatre showing a film premised upon someone’s rejected PhD thesis, the closed gallery named after some philanthropist or other. This all seems part of a vision to convert Kettle’s Yard into a creative hub for contemporary art in general featuring not only works of art but newly commissioned pieces of chamber music performed as the backdrop to an ambitious sequence of performance art not just at Kettle’s Yard itself but at other venues around Cambridge. These include two performances by Ecuadorean artist Regina Jose Galindo whose reputation is for appearing nude in public gardens on the pretext of making a political mission statement about gender oppression, slavery or general human nastiness or being photographed on an operating table her body streaked in red paint. If these sorts of shenanigans are for you then by all means flock to the new Kettle’s Yard. But if like me, you just want to see Jim Ede’s collection of works by Barbara Hepworth, Ben Nicholson, Christopher Wood and the odd Miró in their original setting, you may be in for a shock because amidst the hullabaloo of the contemporary galleries and the place’s re-opening in general, you may struggle to secure entry to the house by timed ticket (only available on the day) and only then after queueing.

2  Thank futtock21
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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