'Jim' Ede, as he was affectionately known, was born near Cardiff, the son of solicitor Edward Ede and his wife. After early schooling in Cambridge (Leys), he studied painting at the FORBES SCHOOL in the two years following Elizabeth FORBES's death (1912-14). In his contribution to the Third Programme (BBC Radio) in 1931, when he was already a Tate Gallery curator, he said about his art training 'I started as a painter and hoped to be a painter, but the war of 1914 interrupted all that. When the War was over I went to an Art School [Ed: Slade]...after a year I had to earn my living, and entered the National Gallery as a photographer...'
In 1924 he met Ben NICHOLSON and Winifred NICHOLSON, and Christopher WOOD, aside from meeting prominent figures such as Chagall, Miro and Picasso, and to them he credited the opening of his eyes to a whole new way of considering art and spaces. He began a correspondence with Alfred WALLIS in St Ives and bought his work, already owning many works of Henri Gaudier-Brzeska, about whom he was to write two major biographies.
As collectors of modern art, Jim and his wife Helene (Helen) Schlapp, an artist and teacher from Edinburgh, were generous in their donations to museums, galleries, and universities in the UK and abroad. These donations included many art works with specific Cornish significance, such as Barbara HEPWORTH, Naum GABO, Bryan PEARCE, William SCOTT, Ben and Winifred Nicholson, and others. A major legacy of Jim Ede, now owned by Cambridge University (given in 1966), is Kettle's Yard, a series of four cottages re-developed by the Edes and their architect Roland Atridge to house their collections within their 'continuing way of life'. The final years of their married lives were spent in Edinburgh (from 1973) where they also made major donations to the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art.
A nice contemporary tie-up was made in 2011 when Andrew LANYON took his latest exhibition Von Ribbentrop in St Ives, Art and War in the Last Resort, first launched in Cornwall at Kestle Barton near Manaccan, Cornwall, to show in London and then travel on to Kettle's Yard where it was received with enthusiastic acclaim.
Painter, curator and collector of art
works and access
British Civil Service
Contemporary Art Society
misc further info
Bednar Every Corner was a Picture
Gale et al (1995) Kettle's Yard and its Artists (illus)
I Green [in] Hardie 2009 Artists in Newlyn and West Cornwall p78 (spelled EADE, Stanley)
Hardie (2009) Artists in Newlyn and West Cornwall;