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.


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:



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

Site of Grave:

Carbis Bay Cemetery, Cornwall, England.

Places of Interest:


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


Tate Britain.
Kenwood House.


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


Dudmaston Hall, Shropshire.


Ory Gallery, Leeds.

Scroll to Top