DCS: Local Heritage Event:
Private Tour of Kettle's Yard and Exhibition

Saturday 24th April 2010

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The Darwin College Society was very privileged to be invited to a private tour of Kettles Yard by the present Director, Michael Harrison. So on another very hot Saturday in May a lucky group of alumni met outside the entrance at 4.30pm after the public viewing times were over. We were both ushered in then given cold drinks by Michael Harrison before he gave us a fascinating talk on the history and ideals of the house. He explained with great admiration how the founder and first Director, Jim Ede, had procured the house despite it being smaller than he had hoped for, then set about making an art exhibition which was part of a lived-in house i.e. his own. The house was extended, became part of Cambridge University and a further addition provided a gallery, a more usual guest exhibition area, but throughout all the changes which occurred the principal of being art in a living environment was maintained in the house.

The talk was inspiring, funny at times and very informative and everyone set out in their groups to explore the house and the Agnus Martin exhibition in the gallery in their own time. Everyone commented on the atmosphere and lighting in the house where the types of objects found varied from the expensive to the personal memento. It was very restful and several people were delighted to be able to touch the collections or even to sit in the chairs. It really is a unique artistic environment.

There was no charge for the evening so the alumni volunteered their contributions to the funds towards the next development of the centre but not enough to cover the cost!

A few of the assembled band continued the evening in the Thanh Binh Vietnamese Restaurant locally where the conversation varied between Kettles Yard and the very tasty food. This was truly a lovely evening and so many thanks are due to Michael Harrison both for the evening and for maintaining and adding to a wonderful place to visit.

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