Barbara Hepworth

Biography

Most famed for being a modernist sculptor, Dame Barbara Hepworth was born in the county of Yorkshire in England in 1903. In 1920, Hepworth won a scholarship to the Leeds School of Art, also in Yorkshire, where she met her lifelong friendly rival Henry Moore. From 1921 to 1924, Hepworth studied on a county scholarship at the Royal College of Art where she finished with a diploma.

Coming runner-up to the sculptor John Skeaping for the Prix-de-Rome, Hepworth travelled around Italy with him, and eventually married him in Florence. It was in Italy that Hepworth learnt how to carve from marble. Hepworth’s main style of sculpting was really abstraction, she was part of multiple movements including the Abstraction- Création one in Paris, and she was a founding member of the Unit-One modernist group in Britain. Hepworth was also a part of a group of 19 artists who went to St Ives, a small town in Cornwall, England, during the WWII to seek refuge. She experimented more with lithography towards the end of her life.

Hepworth died in 1975 at age 72 from an accidental fire in her studio. She was heavily decorated for her contribution to sculpture, having received honorary degrees from several British universities, a knighthood, and in 1973 she was made an honorary member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

Significant collections of her work are at the Barbara Hepworth Museum in St Ives, Cornwall and The Hepworth Wakefield in West Yorkshire. Her work can also be seen at; The University of Liverpool, The University of Birmingham, The University of Southampton; St Catherine's College, Oxford; Cardiff University School of Music, Yorkshire Sculpture Park in West Bretton, West Yorkshire; Clare College, Cambridge; Churchill College, Cambridge; Murray Edwards College, Cambridge; Kenwood House, London; Leeds Art Gallery; Tate Gallery, London; Kröller-Müller Museum, Otterlo, Netherlands; The Pier Arts Centre, Stromness, Orkney;Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa in Wellington;Lynden Sculpture Garden, Milwaukee, Wisconsin.