Kettle’s Yard was the inspiration of Jim Ede who had previously been a curator at the Tate Gallery in London.
In 1957 Jim took on the renovation of four dilapidated 19th Century Cottages in Cambridge; converting them into a single house which is now housing the collection. Completed in 1958 both Jim and his wife Helen Ede moved in and lived there until 1973. In 1966 Kettle’s Yard was given to the University of Cambridge. In 1970 the House was extended and an Exhibition space was added.