St Barbara, attributed to the Master of the Antwerp Adoration, early 16th century, Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge
© Isabel Sudbury
The Fitzwilliam Museum
- Corpus Christi College
Discover the fascinating Arts & Crafts interior of the David Parr House, which has recently undergone a two-year restoration, on a special visit
Enjoy a private visit to the Founder’s Library at the Fitzwilliam Museum, as part of an in-depth exploration of this famous museum
Learn about the history of the house at Kettle’s Yard, home to a beautiful collection of art dating mainly from the early 20th century
"The cultural content was substantial, but purveyed in a readily digestible form. Sarah Burles was a quite excellent guide, being knowledgeable and a great communicator. The tour more than lived up to its billing, introducing us to several excellent museums less well-known to the public."
- ACE customer on the 2021 Hidden Cambridge tour with Sarah Burles
Cambridge is well known for its ancient university, beautiful colleges and scientific discoveries, but it is also home to museum collections of international significance as well as hidden artistic treasures. On this tour, we will delve beneath the city’s surface on a series of privileged visits to discover the hidden histories of remarkable patrons – from the 7th Viscount Fitzwilliam in the 18th century, to Jim and Helen Ede in the 20th century.
We will devote a whole day to studying the history and holdings of the Fitzwilliam Museum, discovering its rich and varied collections and enjoying a private visit to the Founder’s Library in the company of a curator.
Our second full day will focus on the city’s Arts & Crafts heritage. At the heart of the tour will be a special visit to the David Parr House, which reopened in 2019 following a two-year refurbishment funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund. The artist-painter and decorator David Parr was an employee of the decorative arts firm F R Leach & Sons, who carried out commissions for William Morris. Between 1887 and 1927, he created a remarkable interior in his modest terraced Cambridge house, which was wonderfully preserved by his granddaughter.
A further highlight of our tour will be a visit to Kettle’s Yard, once home to Jim and Helen Ede. This fascinating house has also benefited from redevelopment in recent years. We will enjoy a visit to the new exhibition spaces and a special visit to the house, where works by artists such as Joan Miró, Ben and Winifred Nicholson, Christopher Wood and Alfred Wallis are exhibited alongside textiles, natural objects, ceramics, glass and furniture in what has been described as “a masterclass of curatorship”.
Our tour finishes with a special visit to the Women’s Art Collection at Murray Edwards College, the largest collection of works by female artists in Europe. It includes pieces by Barbara Hepworth, Maggi Hambling, Tracey Emin and Eileen Cooper amongst others.
We will stay throughout in the heart of Cambridge at the four-star Hotel du Vin, a stylish and comfortable hotel set in a former university building.
This tour will be led by Sarah Burles, MA, who studied History of Art at the University of Cambridge, before developing a career in museum and gallery education. This included twelve years at the Fitzwilliam Museum, as well as work in other Cambridge museums. Sarah is particularly interested in the history of collections and the collectors whose legacies have shaped the museums we see today. She runs art tours and courses in and around Cambridge as well as online lectures.