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Dame Barbara Hepworth

(British, 1903-1975)

Dame Barbara Hepworth is a world-renowned British artist and sculptor born in Wakefield, UK in 1903. Hepworth studied sculpture at the Leeds School of Art and the Royal College of Art, followed by the British School at Rome where she met Richard Bedford, a curator at the Victoria and Albert Museum. Hepworth became a leader of the direct carving movement alongside her husband John Skeaping. The pair had successful exhibitions in 1928 at Beaux Arts Gallery, London and Alex, Reid, and Lefevre in Glasgow.

Hepworth and her second husband, Ben Nicholson, both moved towards abstract sculpture by the early 1930’s. Hepworth pioneered the piercing of the block, and her exhibitions were instrumental in allowing the rise of constructivism.

Post-WWII, Hepworth exemplified the modernist artistic movement as it gained international recognition. She was commissioned for two public sculptures for the Festival of Britain (1951), exhibited by the Grand Prix of the Sao Paolo Bienal (1959), held her second solo show at Whitechapel (1962), and completed a public memorial sculpture outside of the United Nations building in New York City (1964). Hepworth served as a trustee at the Tate and her studio was memorialized as the Barbara Hepworth Museum.

Dame Barbara Hepworth