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The Hepworth Gallery

The Hepworth, Wakefield

The Hepworth Wakefield is a major new art gallery which opened on Waterfront Wakefield in early 2011.

Designed by award-winning British architect David Chipperfield, The Hepworth unveils a previously unseen collection of sculptures by its namesake, Barbara Hepworth - one of the most important artists of the 20th Century, who was born and raised in Wakefield.

The gallery's bold, modern architecture is a fitting home for its nationally-important collection of British art, spanning the 16th Century to the present day. The collection features work by some of the UK's best-known artists including Walter Sickert, Anthony Caro, Ben Nicholson, LS Lowry, David Hockney and Henry Moore who, like Barbara Hepworth, was born just a few miles from The Hepworth Wakefield site.

Along with The Hepworth Wakefield's own outstanding collection, visitors to the gallery can see works from the national collection of British, modern and contemporary art thanks to new partnerships with the Tate Gallery, Arts Council Collection and the Henry Moore Foundation. As one of the largest new art galleries outside London, The Hepworth Wakefield brings to Yorkshire major shows by leading contemporary artists from the UK and around the world.

As well as its ambitious exhibition programmes, The Hepworth is a new social space in Wakefield city centre. Visitors can learn about art, architecture and design through a varied programme of talks, tours, film screenings, lectures and artist-led workshops, or simply relax with friends in the stylish restaurant and café offering seasonal, locally-sourced food.

Wakefield Council developed The Hepworth Wakefield with co-funding partners Arts Council England, the Heritage Lottery Fund, the Homes and Communities Agency, Yorkshire Forward and the European Union.

Barbara Hepworth

"All my early memories are of forms and shapes and textures. Moving through and over the West Riding landscape with my father in his car, the hills were sculptures: the roads defined the form..."

Wakefield district is the birthplace of modern British sculpture. Barbara Hepworth and Henry Moore - two of the most influential sculptors of the 20th Century - were born in the district, just five years and a few miles apart.

Hepworth was born in Wakefield on 10 January 1903, the eldest daughter of Herbert Raikes and Gertrude Allison Hepworth. During these early years, her father was a surveyor for the West Riding, working from County Hall in Wakefield.

The Hepworth, Wakefield

Hepworth trained at the Leeds School of Art where she met the Castleford-born sculptor, Henry Moore. Together with Moore, she moved to the Royal College of Art in London in 1921. The two sculptors, along with artist Ben Nicholson whom Hepworth married, became influential figures in the British modernist movement of the 1930s.

Hepworth received numerous public commissions including Single Form, erected outside the United Nations building, New York as a memorial to the Secretary General Dag Hammarskjöld, and Winged Figure for the John Lewis Building on London's Oxford Street. In 1965 she became a Dame Commander of the British Empire.

Barbara Hepworth died in May 1975 in a fire at her studio home. In the following year, Trewyn Studio was opened as a public museum and sculpture garden devoted to her life and work and now forms part of the Tate St Ives.

Continuing Hepworth's legacy

The Hepworth Wakefield celebrates Barbara Hepworth's achievements in the city where she was born and raised. Its centrepiece is a unique gift from the Hepworth Estate of over thirty original sculptures - many of which have never been seen in public before.

These sculptures - which include the prototypes for some of Hepworth's most important public commissions - will be shown alongside her workshop tools, rare documentary footage of the artist at work and The Hepworth Wakefield's excellent representative of her early carvings. Key bronzes on long-term loan from the Hepworth Estate and the Tate Gallery give visitors a complete picture of Barbara Hepworth's career.

To find out more about The Hepworth Wakefield, please visit www.hepworthwakefield.com

For more information about Barbara Hepworth, please visit the official website of the Hepworth Estate: www.barbarahepworth.org.uk