Barbara Hepworth Facts

Here are some facts about Barbara Hepworth, the famous British sculptor and artist.

  • Barbara Hepworth was born in Wakefield, Yorkshire, UK, in 1903.
  • She met Henry Moore at the Leeds School of Art in the early 1920s. They became good friends and through their artwork helped to promote modernism in sculpture.
  • Barbara also won a scholarship to attend the Royal College of Art in London.
  • In 1924, Hepworth travelled to Florence, Italy with the sculptor John Skeaping. They got married in 1925.
  • She studied under the master sculptor, Giovanni Ardini, and learned to carve marble.
  • In 1933, she travelled to France, met Piet Mondrian and Georges Braque, and visited the studio of Pablo Picasso.
  • In 1938, following the breakdown of her first marriage, she married abstract painter, Ben Nicholson.
  • She moved to St Ives in Cornwall in 1939, and lived here for the rest of her life. She founded the Penwith Society of Arts and lived in Trewyn Studios.
  • In 1960, Barbara Hepworth bought the Palais de Danse (a cinema building) and converted it into a large-scale studio.
  • She died in a fire at her studios in 1975. She was 72.
  • Hepworth produced sculptures in brass, bronze, stone and wood, and she also produced a series of prints and some pencil and oil pieces.
  • In 2015 Tate Britain staged a big London show of Hepworth’s work, including more than 70 pieces of her artwork.
  • Some of her famous works included: Pierced Form (1932), Mother and Child (1934), Pelagos (1946), Squares and Two Circles (1963) and Curved Forms (1956).
  • Some of Barbara’s earliest memories involved family car journies through the countryside. She was intrigued by the shapes formed by the hills and fields and roads.
  • Her earliest work is often described as naturalistic with simplified features, whereas most of her work from 1930 was abstract.

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