Barbara Hepworth
Overview
 
Dame Barbara Hepworth DBE
Order of the British Empire
The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire is an order of chivalry established on 4 June 1917 by George V of the United Kingdom. The Order comprises five classes in civil and military divisions...

 (10 January 1903 – 20 May 1975) was an English sculptor. Her work exemplifies Modernism
Modernism
Modernism, in its broadest definition, is modern thought, character, or practice. More specifically, the term describes the modernist movement, its set of cultural tendencies and array of associated cultural movements, originally arising from wide-scale and far-reaching changes to Western society...

, and with such contemporaries as Ivon Hitchens
Ivon Hitchens
Ivon Hitchens was an English painter who started exhibiting during the 1920s. He became part of the 'London Group' of artists and exhibited with them during the 1930s. His house was bombed in 1940 during World War II, at which point he moved to a caravan on a patch of woodland near Petworth in...

, Henry Moore
Henry Moore
Henry Spencer Moore OM CH FBA was an English sculptor and artist. He was best known for his semi-abstract monumental bronze sculptures which are located around the world as public works of art....

, Ben Nicholson
Ben Nicholson
Benjamin Lauder "Ben" Nicholson, OM was a British painter of abstract compositions , landscape and still-life.-Background and Training:...

, Naum Gabo
Naum Gabo
Naum Gabo KBE, born Naum Neemia Pevsner was a prominent Russian sculptor in the Constructivism movement and a pioneer of Kinetic Art.-Early life:...

 she helped to develop modern art (sculpture in particular) in Britain.
Jocelyn Barbara Hepworth was born on 10 January 1903 in Wakefield
Wakefield
Wakefield is the main settlement and administrative centre of the City of Wakefield, a metropolitan district of West Yorkshire, England. Located by the River Calder on the eastern edge of the Pennines, the urban area is and had a population of 76,886 in 2001....

, West Yorkshire
West Yorkshire
West Yorkshire is a metropolitan county within the Yorkshire and the Humber region of England with a population of 2.2 million. West Yorkshire came into existence as a metropolitan county in 1974 after the passage of the Local Government Act 1972....

, the eldest child of Herbert and Gertrude Hepworth. Her father was a civil engineer for the West Riding County Council, who in 1921 became County Surveyor.
Unanswered Questions
Encyclopedia
Dame Barbara Hepworth DBE
Order of the British Empire
The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire is an order of chivalry established on 4 June 1917 by George V of the United Kingdom. The Order comprises five classes in civil and military divisions...

 (10 January 1903 – 20 May 1975) was an English sculptor. Her work exemplifies Modernism
Modernism
Modernism, in its broadest definition, is modern thought, character, or practice. More specifically, the term describes the modernist movement, its set of cultural tendencies and array of associated cultural movements, originally arising from wide-scale and far-reaching changes to Western society...

, and with such contemporaries as Ivon Hitchens
Ivon Hitchens
Ivon Hitchens was an English painter who started exhibiting during the 1920s. He became part of the 'London Group' of artists and exhibited with them during the 1930s. His house was bombed in 1940 during World War II, at which point he moved to a caravan on a patch of woodland near Petworth in...

, Henry Moore
Henry Moore
Henry Spencer Moore OM CH FBA was an English sculptor and artist. He was best known for his semi-abstract monumental bronze sculptures which are located around the world as public works of art....

, Ben Nicholson
Ben Nicholson
Benjamin Lauder "Ben" Nicholson, OM was a British painter of abstract compositions , landscape and still-life.-Background and Training:...

, Naum Gabo
Naum Gabo
Naum Gabo KBE, born Naum Neemia Pevsner was a prominent Russian sculptor in the Constructivism movement and a pioneer of Kinetic Art.-Early life:...

 she helped to develop modern art (sculpture in particular) in Britain.

Life and work

Jocelyn Barbara Hepworth was born on 10 January 1903 in Wakefield
Wakefield
Wakefield is the main settlement and administrative centre of the City of Wakefield, a metropolitan district of West Yorkshire, England. Located by the River Calder on the eastern edge of the Pennines, the urban area is and had a population of 76,886 in 2001....

, West Yorkshire
West Yorkshire
West Yorkshire is a metropolitan county within the Yorkshire and the Humber region of England with a population of 2.2 million. West Yorkshire came into existence as a metropolitan county in 1974 after the passage of the Local Government Act 1972....

, the eldest child of Herbert and Gertrude Hepworth. Her father was a civil engineer for the West Riding County Council, who in 1921 became County Surveyor. She attended Wakefield Girls High School
Wakefield Girls High School
Wakefield Girls' High School is an independent school in Wakefield, England established in 1878 in Wentworth House, its current location. The school has grown from 59 pupils when it first began to nearly 750 in the present day .-Education:...

, and won a scholarship and studied at the Leeds School of Art from 1920 (where she met Moore). She then won a County scholarship to the Royal College of Art
Royal College of Art
The Royal College of Art is an art school located in London, United Kingdom. It is the world’s only wholly postgraduate university of art and design, offering the degrees of Master of Arts , Master of Philosophy and Doctor of Philosophy...

 and studied there from 1921 until she was awarded the diploma of the Royal College of Art in 1924. She later studied for a period in Italy
Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

.

Hepworth's first marriage was to the sculptor John Skeaping
John Skeaping
John Rattenbury Skeaping, RA was an English sculptor and equine painter.Born in South Woodford, Essex, Skeaping studied at Goldsmith's College, London, and later at the Royal Academy. He was the first husband of the sculptor Barbara Hepworth, with whom he exhibited during the 1920s...

, with whom she had a son, Paul, in 1929. Her second marriage was to the painter Ben Nicholson
Ben Nicholson
Benjamin Lauder "Ben" Nicholson, OM was a British painter of abstract compositions , landscape and still-life.-Background and Training:...

. They married on 17 November 1938 at Hampstead Register Office. The couple had triplets in 1934, Simon, Rachel and Sarah; Simon
Simon Nicholson
Simon Hepworth Nicholson was the son of artist Ben Nicholson and his second wife, sculptor Barbara Hepworth who later became an artist himself....

 also became an artist. The couple divorced in 1951. Her eldest son, Paul, was killed on 13 February 1953 in a plane crash while serving with the Royal Air Force
Royal Air Force
The Royal Air Force is the aerial warfare service branch of the British Armed Forces. Formed on 1 April 1918, it is the oldest independent air force in the world...

 in Thailand. Hepworth created a memorial to him, entitled Madonna and Child, in the church in St Ives.

One of her most prestigious works is Single Form, in memory of her friend and collector of her works Dag Hammarskjöld
Dag Hammarskjöld
Dag Hjalmar Agne Carl Hammarskjöld was a Swedish diplomat, economist, and author. An early Secretary-General of the United Nations, he served from April 1953 until his death in a plane crash in September 1961. He is the only person to have been awarded a posthumous Nobel Peace Prize. Hammarskjöld...

, at the United Nations building in New York City. It was commissioned in 1961 by the Jacob and Hilda Blaustein Foundation following Hammarskjöld's death in a plane crash.

Hepworth was featured in the 1964 documentary film 5 British Sculptors (Work and Talk) by American filmmaker Warren Forma
Warren Forma
Warren Forma is an American filmmaker and author, best known for his "Artists at Work" documentary film series and book on European and American painters and sculptors in the 1960s and 1970s, his 1973 novel The Falling Man, which contrasts the violence of 1920's Ireland and 1940's Harlem, New...

. She was made a Dame
Order of the British Empire
The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire is an order of chivalry established on 4 June 1917 by George V of the United Kingdom. The Order comprises five classes in civil and military divisions...

 in 1965, ten years before her death during a fire in her St Ives
St Ives, Cornwall
St Ives is a seaside town, civil parish and port in Cornwall, England, United Kingdom. The town lies north of Penzance and west of Camborne on the coast of the Celtic Sea. In former times it was commercially dependent on fishing. The decline in fishing, however, caused a shift in commercial...

 studio in Cornwall
Cornwall
Cornwall is a unitary authority and ceremonial county of England, within the United Kingdom. It is bordered to the north and west by the Celtic Sea, to the south by the English Channel, and to the east by the county of Devon, over the River Tamar. Cornwall has a population of , and covers an area of...

, aged seventy-two.

Galleries holding her work

Hepworth's former studio and home now form the Barbara Hepworth Museum
Barbara Hepworth Museum
The Barbara Hepworth Museum and Sculpture Garden in St Ives, Cornwall preserves the 20th century sculptor Barbara Hepworth's studio and garden much as they were when she lived and worked there.-History:...

. A new £35 million museum dedicated to Hepworth, the Hepworth Wakefield
The Hepworth Wakefield
The Hepworth Wakefield is an art gallery in Wakefield, West Yorkshire, England, which opened on 21 May 2011. The gallery, is situated on the south side of the River Calder and takes its name from artist and sculptor Barbara Hepworth who was born and educated in the city.The gallery was designed by...

, opened in Britain in May 2011 at Wakefield in West Yorkshire.

Her work may also be seen at St. Catherine's College, Oxford, the School of Music at Cardiff University
Cardiff University
Cardiff University is a leading research university located in the Cathays Park area of Cardiff, Wales, United Kingdom. It received its Royal charter in 1883 and is a member of the Russell Group of Universities. The university is consistently recognised as providing high quality research-based...

, the Yorkshire Sculpture Park
Yorkshire Sculpture Park
The Yorkshire Sculpture Park in West Bretton, Wakefield, in West Yorkshire, England is an open-air gallery showing work by UK and international artists, including Henry Moore and Barbara Hepworth...

 in West Bretton
West Bretton
West Bretton is a village and civil parish in the City of Wakefield in West Yorkshire, England. It lies from Wakefield, close to junction 38 of the M1 motorway. It has a population of 546....

, West Yorkshire; Clare College
Clare College, Cambridge
Clare College is a constituent college of the University of Cambridge in Cambridge, England.The college was founded in 1326, making it the second-oldest surviving college of the University after Peterhouse. Clare is famous for its chapel choir and for its gardens on "the Backs"...

, Churchill College
Churchill College, Cambridge
Churchill College is a constituent college of the University of Cambridge, England.In 1958, a Trust was established with Sir Winston Churchill as its Chairman of Trustees, to build and endow a college for 60 fellows and 540 Students as a national and Commonwealth memorial to Winston Churchill; its...

 and Murray Edwards College (formerly New Hall), Cambridge
Cambridge
The city of Cambridge is a university town and the administrative centre of the county of Cambridgeshire, England. It lies in East Anglia about north of London. Cambridge is at the heart of the high-technology centre known as Silicon Fen – a play on Silicon Valley and the fens surrounding the...

; Snape Maltings
Snape Maltings
Snape Maltings is part of Snape, Suffolk, U.K., best known for its concert hall, which is one of the main sites of the annual Aldeburgh Festival....

, Snape, Suffolk; and on view in or attached to the John Lewis department store
John Lewis (department store)
-Recent developments:In June 2004, John Lewis announced plans to open its first store in Northern Ireland at the Sprucefield Park development, the province's largest out of town shopping centre, located outside Lisburn and from Belfast. The application was approved in June 2005 and the opening of...

, part of the John Lewis Partnership
John Lewis Partnership
The John Lewis Partnership is an employee-owned UK partnership which operates John Lewis department stores, Waitrose supermarkets and a number of other services...

, in Oxford Street
Oxford Street
Oxford Street is a major thoroughfare in the City of Westminster in the West End of London, United Kingdom. It is Europe's busiest shopping street, as well as its most dense, and currently has approximately 300 shops. The street was formerly part of the London-Oxford road which began at Newgate,...

 (see picture); and Kenwood House
Kenwood House
Kenwood House is a former stately home, in Hampstead, London, on the northern boundary of Hampstead Heath. It is managed by English Heritage.-History:...

, both in London. Seaform (Atlantic) may be viewed in a newly created open space on St George's Street Norwich; it has been seen to be used by the Norwich parcour group to hang from horizontally and move through its apertures as part of their own physical urban art form (the sculpture was relocated from the Norwich Castle gardens for fear the precious bronze would be stolen and melted down for scrap). Her 1966 work, Construction (Crucifixion): Homage to Mondrian, can be seen in the grounds of Winchester Cathedral
Winchester Cathedral
Winchester Cathedral at Winchester in Hampshire is one of the largest cathedrals in England, with the longest nave and overall length of any Gothic cathedral in Europe...

 next to The Pilgrims' School
The Pilgrims' School
The Pilgrims' School, Winchester, is a boys' preparatory school - with a co-ed pre-prep extension - in the Cathedral Close in Winchester, Hampshire - an ancient capital of England. The school is famous for The Pilgrims' Hall, which contains England's oldest surviving wood double hammer-beamed roof,...

; Hieroglyph can be seen at Leeds Art Gallery
Leeds Art Gallery
Leeds Art Gallery in Leeds, West Yorkshire, England is a museum whose collection of 20th century British Art is recognised by the British government as a collection "of national importance". Its collection also includes 19th century and earlier art works. The gallery opened on 3 October 1888 as...

. The Tate Gallery
Tate Gallery
The Tate is an institution that houses the United Kingdom's national collection of British Art, and International Modern and Contemporary Art...

 owns many of her works. In The Netherlands, the Kröller-Müller Museum
Kröller-Müller Museum
The Kröller-Müller Museum is an art museum and sculpture garden, located in the Hoge Veluwe National Park in Otterlo in the Netherlands.-Museum:...

 also owns several of her sculptures. Curved Form (Trevalgan) (1956), which stood in Margaret Gardiner
Margaret Gardiner (artist)
Margaret Gardiner was a radical modern British artist and resident of Hampstead, London, from 1932, where she was also a left wing political activist. She was also for a time the partner of Professor John Desmond Bernal the eminent scientist and political activist...

's rear garden in Hampstead
Hampstead
Hampstead is an area of London, England, north-west of Charing Cross. Part of the London Borough of Camden in Inner London, it is known for its intellectual, liberal, artistic, musical and literary associations and for Hampstead Heath, a large, hilly expanse of parkland...

, is now at the Pier Art Gallery
Pier Art Gallery
The Pier Art Gallery in Stromness, Orkney, was opened to the public in 1979. The art collector Margaret Gardiner first visited Orkney in the 1950s and converted the old quayside building to house her collection of modern paintings and sculpture. It began as a personal collection of her friends'...

 in Stromness
Stromness
Stromness is the second-biggest town in Orkney, Scotland. It is in the south-west of Mainland Orkney. It is also a parish, with the town of Stromness as its capital.-Etymology:...

 together with 67 other works donated by Gardiner. Trevalgan was Hepworth's first entire bronze
Bronze
Bronze is a metal alloy consisting primarily of copper, usually with tin as the main additive. It is hard and brittle, and it was particularly significant in antiquity, so much so that the Bronze Age was named after the metal...

 form.

Marble portrait heads dating from London, ca. 1927, of Barbara Hepworth by John Skeaping
John Skeaping
John Rattenbury Skeaping, RA was an English sculptor and equine painter.Born in South Woodford, Essex, Skeaping studied at Goldsmith's College, London, and later at the Royal Academy. He was the first husband of the sculptor Barbara Hepworth, with whom he exhibited during the 1920s...

, and of Skeaping by Hepworth, are documented by photograph in the Skeaping Retrospective catalogue, but are both believed to be lost.

List of selected works

| Oval Form (Trezion) >
1928 Doves Parian marble
Parian marble
Parian marble is a fine-grained semitranslucent pure-white and entirely flawless marble quarried during the classical era on the Greek island of Paros in the Aegean Sea.It was highly prized by ancient Greeks for making sculptures...

1932–33 Seated Figure lignum vitae
Lignum vitae
Lignum vitae is a trade wood, also called guayacan or guaiacum, and in parts of Europe known as pockenholz, from trees of the genus Guaiacum. This wood was once very important for applications requiring a material with its extraordinary combination of strength, toughness and density...

1933 Two Forms alabaster
Alabaster
Alabaster is a name applied to varieties of two distinct minerals, when used as a material: gypsum and calcite . The former is the alabaster of the present day; generally, the latter is the alabaster of the ancients...

 and limestone
Limestone
Limestone is a sedimentary rock composed largely of the minerals calcite and aragonite, which are different crystal forms of calcium carbonate . Many limestones are composed from skeletal fragments of marine organisms such as coral or foraminifera....

1934 Mother and Child Cumberland
Cumberland
Cumberland is a historic county of North West England, on the border with Scotland, from the 12th century until 1974. It formed an administrative county from 1889 to 1974 and now forms part of Cumbria....

 alabaster
Alabaster
Alabaster is a name applied to varieties of two distinct minerals, when used as a material: gypsum and calcite . The former is the alabaster of the present day; generally, the latter is the alabaster of the ancients...

1935 Three Forms Seravezza marble
Marble
Marble is a metamorphic rock composed of recrystallized carbonate minerals, most commonly calcite or dolomite.Geologists use the term "marble" to refer to metamorphosed limestone; however stonemasons use the term more broadly to encompass unmetamorphosed limestone.Marble is commonly used for...

1936 Ball Plane and Hole lignum vitae, mahogany
Mahogany
The name mahogany is used when referring to numerous varieties of dark-colored hardwood. It is a native American word originally used for the wood of the species Swietenia mahagoni, known as West Indian or Cuban mahogany....

 and oak
1937 Pierced Hemisphere 1 white marble
1940 Sculpture with Colour (Deep Blue and Red) mixed
1943 Oval Sculpture cast material
1943–44 Wave wood, paint and string
1944 Landscape Sculpture wood (cast in bronze
Bronze
Bronze is a metal alloy consisting primarily of copper, usually with tin as the main additive. It is hard and brittle, and it was particularly significant in antiquity, so much so that the Bronze Age was named after the metal...

, 1961)
1946 Pelagos >-
| Tides
wood and paint
1947 Blue and green (arthroplasty) 31 December 1947 oil and pencil on pressed paperboard
Paperboard
Paperboard is a thick paper based material. While there is no rigid differentiation between paper and paperboard, paperboard is generally thicker than paper. According to ISO standards, paperboard is a paper with a basis weight above 224 g/m2, but there are exceptions. Paperboard can be single...

1949 Operation: Case for Discussion oil and pencil on pressed paperboard
Paperboard
Paperboard is a thick paper based material. While there is no rigid differentiation between paper and paperboard, paperboard is generally thicker than paper. According to ISO standards, paperboard is a paper with a basis weight above 224 g/m2, but there are exceptions. Paperboard can be single...

1951 Group I (Concourse) 4 February 1951 Serravezza marble
1953 Hieroglyph Ancaster stone
Ancaster stone
Ancaster stone is Middle Jurassic oolitic limestone, quarried around Ancaster, Lincolnshire, England. There are three forms of this limestone, Weather Bed, Hard White and Freestone...

1954–55 Two Figures teak
Teak
Teak is the common name for the tropical hardwood tree species Tectona grandis and its wood products. Tectona grandis is native to south and southeast Asia, mainly India, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Burma, but is naturalized and cultivated in many countries, including those in Africa and the...

 and paint
1955 Oval Sculpture (Delos) scented guarea
Guarea
Guarea is a genus of evergreen trees in the mahogany family Meliaceae, native to tropical Africa and Central and South America. They are large trees 20-45 m tall, with a trunk over 1 m trunk diameter, often buttressed at the base. The leaves are pinnate, with 4-6 pairs of leaflets, the terminal...

 wood and paint
1955–56 Coré bronze
1956 Curved Form (Trevalgan) bronze (see external link)
1956 Orpheus (Maquette), Version II >-
| Stringed Figure (Curlew), Version II
brass and cotton string
1958 Cantate Domino >-
| Sea Form (Porthmeor)
bronze
1959 Curved form with inner form – anima bronze
1960 Figure for Landscape
Figure for Landscape
Figure for Landscape is a bronze sculpture by Barbara Hepworth, modeled in 1960.Seven castings were made; they are in the Barbara Hepworth Museum , Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, University of Exeter, J. Paul Getty Museum, and San Diego Museum of Art.-External links:*, Hirshhorn Museum*,...

 
>-
| Archaeon
bronze
1961 Curved Form (Bryher)
Curved Form (Bryher)
Curved Form is a bronze sculpture by Barbara Hepworth, modeled in 1961.It was an edition of seven.Examples are located at the Annmarie Sculpture Garden, Solomons, Maryland, on loan from the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art,and at the De Doelen...

 
bronze
1962–63 Bronze Form (Patmos
Patmos
Patmos is a small Greek island in the Aegean Sea. One of the northernmost islands of the Dodecanese complex, it has a population of 2,984 and an area of . The highest point is Profitis Ilias, 269 meters above sea level. The Municipality of Patmos, which includes the offshore islands of Arkoi ,...

)
bronze
1964 Rock Form (Porthcurno
Porthcurno
Porthcurno is a small village in the parish of St. Levan located in a valley on the south coast of the county of Cornwall, England in the United Kingdom. It is approximately to the west of the market town of Penzance and about from Land's End, the most westerly point of the English mainland...

)
>-
| Sea Form (Atlantic)
bronze
bronze
1966 Figure in a Landscape >-
| Four-Square Walk Through
bronze
1968 Two Figures
Two Figures
Two Figures is a public artwork by English artist Barbara Hepworth, located on the grounds of the Indianapolis Museum of Art, which is in Indianapolis, Indiana. This cast bronze sculpture is one of a series of this figural group cast at the Morris Singer Foundry in London.-Description:Upon the...

 
bronze and gold
1970 Family of Man bronze
1971 The Aegean Suite >-
| Summer Dance
painted bronze
1972 Minoan Head >- valign=top
| Assembly of Sea Forms
white marble
mounted on stainless steel base
1973? Conversation with Magic Stones bronze and silver

External links


Further reading

  • 2011: Barbara Hepworth: The Plasters by Sophie Bowness with contributions by Sophie Bowness, David Chipperfield, Frances Guy, Jackie Heuman, Tessa Jackson, Simon Wallis and Gordon Watson (Lund Humphries) ISBN 978-1-84822-066-9
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