With the long-awaited University Arms hotel opening in Cambridge this month, what better to do than delve deeper into the historic city’s art scene.
Cambridge is a city that is entrenched in art and architecture with the likes of Cecil Beaton, Roger Fry, Antony Gormley and Marc Quinn originating or studying in the city. Architecturally, Cambridge is visually rich too with its white spires looming overhead, creating a picture postcard aesthetic. King’s College is one of the best examples of late Perpendicular Gothic English architecture the world has ever seen, its ogee arches and vaulted ceiling instantly recognisable. However, there is also a burgeoning modern art scene, seen via the creatives working behind the golden walls and the likes of Jim and Helen Ede, original owners of Kettle's Yard.
The much-loved and newly reopened gallery space proves a perfect respite from a day spent punting the River Cam or exploring nearby Grantchester thanks to its exceptionally well curated gallery feel and collection of British and European artwork.
Originally the home of Jim and Helen Ede, from 1958 until 1973, Kettle’s Yard is a residential space brimming with an unparalleled permanent collection acquired largely through the Edes’ friendships with artists. It oozes charm with quiet pockets of contemplation and antique furniture, all bathed in light, providing a calming sanctuary away from the superstar architecture of Cambridge’s colleges.
Undoubtedly it is the way in which artwork has been displayed at Kettle’s Yard that makes it so successful. Gone are the stuffy rules of a traditional gallery space and instead it makes way for a gallery that feels more like getting a glimpse into someone’s home that has stood still in time. From porcelain sets and corner cabinets to ivory accessories and pewter plates, objet is dotted around contrasting perfectly with sculptural pieces by Brancussi, coastal paintings by Ben Nicholson or window treatment by Cornelia Parker and ceramics by William Staite Murray.
So, should you find yourself enjoying a day trip to Cambridge, why not head to Kettle's Yard for a dose of artistic - and interior - inspiration.