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Biography of Barbara Hepworth

Photo of Barbara Hepworth

Dame Barbara Hepworth was a twentieth century sculptor.

When and Where was she Born?

10th January 1903, Wakefield, Yorkshire, England.

Family Background:

Barbara Hepworth was the daughter of a County Surveyor.

Education:

Wins a Scholarship to Leeds School of Art. Royal College of Art, London.

Timeline of Dame Barbara Hepworth:

1920: Hepworth meets Henry Moore at Leeds School of Art.

1921: She moves on to the Royal Academy of Art in London.

1924: After graduating she moves to Florence to study Romanesque and early Renaissance Sculpture with her new husband John Skeaping. Moves on from Florence to Rome.

1926: She returns to London.

1928: Hepworth holds her first one-person exhibition at the Beaux Arts Gallery in London. Moves to Parkhill Road, Hempstead, London.

1932: She meets to artist Ben Nicholson and joined the “Seven and Five Society of Artists”. Produces her first pierced form sculpture.

1933: She becomes a member of the Abstraction-Creation Association. and of the “British Unit One Group”.

1934: Birth of triplets.

1935: By now all her work is abstract with the renewed influence of Nicholson.

1938: In November she marries Ben Nicholson.

1939: Hepworth began using colour in her work.

1940: She moved to St. Ives in Cornwall.

Pelagos. 1946. Tate Gallery
Pelagos. 1946. Tate Gallery

1949: Hepworth buys the Trewyn Studios in St. Ives.

1950: She exhibits at the Venice Biennnale.

1951: She is divorced from Nicholson. She moves into the Trewyn Studios where she lives until her death. Exhibits “Contrapuntal Forms” at the Festival of Britain.

1953: Hepworth produces “The Unknown Political Prisoner”.

1954: She visits Greece.

1959: She wins the Grand Prix at the Sao Paulo Biennale for one of her Bronze works, a medium she started to use in the late 1950’s.

1962: Hepworth commissioned to create the “Winged Figure” on the John Lewis Building in London.

1964: She produces “Three Monoliths” in Marble.

1965: She is created a Dame of the British Empire.

1973: Hepworth suffers from throat cancer.

When and Where did she Die?

20th May 1975, Trewyn Studio, St. Ives, Cornwall, England in a fire in her studio.

Age at Death:

72.

Marriage:

  1. 1924 to John Skeaping.
  2. November 1938 to Ben Nicholson. (Divorced 1951).

Site of Grave:

Carbis Bay Cemetery, Cornwall, England.

Places of Interest:

CORNWALL:

Barbara Hepworth Studio, Trewyn, St. Ives.
Tate Gallery, St. Ives.

LONDON:

Tate Britain.
Kenwood House.

SCOTLAND:

Pier Art Centre, Stromness, Orkney.
Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Edinburgh.

SHROPSHIRE:

Dudmaston Hall, Shropshire.

YORKSHIRE:

Ory Gallery, Leeds.

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