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Barbara Hepworth - Art and Sculpture

Updated on October 6, 2016

Barbara Hepworth is one of the 20th century's most important artists and the outdoor Barbara Hepworth Sculpture Garden offers a remarkable insight into Barbara's work and outlook.

Between the indoor museum and the outdoor sculpture garden, you'll find bronze, wood and stone sculptures on display, nestling alongside a lifetime of paintings, drawings and archive material.

Barbara Hepworth both lived and worked in Trewyn Studios, which she bought in 1949, until her death, aged 72, in 1975 in a fire at the studio.  It's now renamed The Hepworth Museum.  The studio still contains a lot of her unfinished work, uncut stone, tools and materials - just as she left them.

Barbara personally decided on the placement of each piece of art in the sculpture garden, transforming the entire space into a living piece of art that you become part of when you move among the pieces. You're also free to touch most of the outdoor work, so you can feel the materials she worked with and get a sense of the shapes from a different perspective.

FREE Barbara Hepworth Sculpture Around St Ives

You can see Barbara Hepworth sculptures for free if you're keen to see some, but are lacking in budget right now!

A variety of Barbara Hepworth sculptures are dotted around the town centre of St Ives to be discovered by simply walking around and knowing where to look.

One accessible piece is the piece named "Dual Form" which stands at the front of St Ives Guildhall,

Or, visit St Ives Church where there's a memorial to her son who died in a plane accident.

More Barbara Hepworth Art in St Ives

The Barbara Hepworth Museum and Sculpture Garden are connected with the nearby Tate St Ives Gallery.

The Tate St Ives also has some Barbara Hepworth pieces in their collection. You can also find a few pieces of artwork by Barbara round St Ives itself, including a sculpture in memory of her first son, Paul, who was killed in 1953 in a plane accident, entitled Madonna and Child which can be found at St Ives Church.

FOUR SQUARE, Barbara Hepworth.
FOUR SQUARE, Barbara Hepworth. | Source
FOUR SQUARE by Barbara Hepworth
FOUR SQUARE by Barbara Hepworth | Source

Barbara Hepworth Sculpture Garden

As all the pieces are outdoors, and being weathered, the time of year, time of day and weather, as well as the angle at which you gaze at the piece, means that you have a unique experience. You've got a lot of space to wander around and get your own perspective on the pieces and how they interact with one another in the landscape.

Take your time... don't just stand, stare, then move onto the next piece. Crouch down, close one eye, maybe look at it from ground level, or with one eye closed. Frame the pieces in your field of vision, by facing in different directions. Think about the pieces and wonder why Barbara chose to place it there.

The Largest Barbara Hepworth Sculpture

The largest piece in the garden is Four Square, created in 1966. 

Why not book a trip to St Ives for a weekend, take your time looking round the Barbara Hepworth Sculpture Garden and Museum, as well as enjoying the Tate St Ives and the surrounding area.

There are plenty of other local artists to visit too.

Directions to the Barbara Hepworth Sculpture Garden

A
Barbara Hepworth Sculpture Garden:
St Ives, Cornwall TR26 1AD, UK

get directions

B
The Tate St Ives:
St Ives, Cornwall TR26 1TG, UK

get directions

C
St Ives Railway Station, Cornwall:
St Ives railway station, Saint Ives, Cornwall TR26, UK

get directions

Directions to the Barbara Hepworth Sculpture Garden and Museum

St Ives has very narrow, restricted streets, so if possible it can be a better experience to catch the train from nearby Lelant or St Erth, an off-peak return ticket should cost about £4. Car parking in St Ives is very limited and the train will in fact bring you closer to the centre of town than most car parking spaces you could queue and fight for - and it's cheaper.

Opening Times: Mar-Oct open daily 10am-5.20pm, Nov-Feb Tue-Sun (closed Mondays) 10am-4.20pm or dusk. Last admission 20 minutes before closing time.

Admission Prices: You can get a combined Tate/Hepworth Museum ticket at a slight discount. Prices just for the Barbara Hepworth Museum and Sculpture Garden are Adults £4.75, Others £2.75.

Address: Barbara Hepworth Museum and Sculpture Garden, Barnoon Hill, St Ives, TR26 1AD
Telephone: 01736 796226

Website: http://www.tate.org.uk/stives/hepworth/

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    • Imogen French profile image

      Imogen French 

      7 years ago from Southwest England

      Love this gallery, and the work of Barbara Hepworth. Great hub! I have recently posted a hub about the galleries of west cornwall (including this one of course), as I was so inspired on a recent visit there :)

    • Gary Shorthouse profile image

      Gary Shorthouse 

      8 years ago from Reading, UK

      Very interesting hub, thank you. perhaps you might be interested in my hub on the quality of light in St Ives and its influence on local art.

    • Simone Smith profile image

      Simone Haruko Smith 

      8 years ago from San Francisco

      What an interesting artist Barbara Hepworth is! Thanks for sharing!

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