Ways of Life
This first biography of the Kettle’s Yard artists reveals the life of a visionary who helped shape twentieth-century British art and explores a thrilling moment in the history of modernism
‘The beautiful, revelatory biography we have been waiting for. I loved it’
EDMUND DE WAAL
‘This book is the legacy Jim Ede might have wished for’
The lives of Jim Ede and the Kettle’s Yard artists represent a thrilling tipping point in twentieth-century modernism: a new guard, a new way of making and seeing, and a new way of living with art. The artists Ben and Winifred Nicholson, Henry Moore, Barbara Hepworth, Alfred Wallis and Henri Gaudier-Brzeska were not a set like the Bloomsbury Set or Ravilious and his friends. But Jim Ede recognised in each of the artists he championed something common and kindred, some quality of light and life and line.
Jim Ede is the figure who unites them. His vision continues to influence the way we understand art and modern living. He was a man of extraordinary energies: a collector, dealer, fixer, critic and, above all, friend to artists. For Ede, works of art were friends and art could be found wherever you looked – in a pebble, feather or seedhead. Art lived and a life without art, beauty, friendship and creativity was a life not worth living. Art was not for galleries alone and it certainly wasn’t only for the rich. At Kettle’s Yard in Cambridge, he opened his home and his collection to all comers. He showed generations of visitors that learning to look could be a whole new way of life.
The beautiful, revelatory biography of Jim Ede and Kettle's Yard that we have been waiting for. I loved it -- Edmund de Waal Laura Freeman has invented a form of biography perfectly suited to her subject ... Ways of Life is a portable Kettle's Yard, an entrancing book of immense and curious beauty that channels the spirit of Jim Ede and brings him back to life -- Ruth Scurr, author of Fatal Purity Over the many years that I've been visiting Kettle's Yard, it's as if the place has become a dear friend; now with this beautifully constructed book I am able to meet the man whose presence and artistic acuity can be seen in every room and in every careful juxtaposition of images. Wonderful! -- Julia Blackburn, author of Dreaming the Karoo
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