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The Hepworth Wakefield to take part in a new audio guide by Katy Hessel

01 Mar 2024

We are excited to share that The Hepworth Wakefield is one of five international galleries to take part in a new audio guide series by Katy Hessel titled, Museums Without Men.

To celebrate Women’s History Month, Katy Hessel today launches Museums Without Men, a new ongoing series of audio guides highlighting the women and gender non-conforming artists in the public collections of international museums. The series launches with five participating institutions: Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco (1 March), The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (8 March), The Hepworth Wakefield (19 March), the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington D.C. (22 March), and Tate Britain (w/c 25 March).

Museums Without Men is an ever-growing series created by art historian and author Katy Hessel that introduces museum visitors to underrepresented and often lesser-known artists, opening collections up to new and existing audiences who will be able to follow the audio stops while in the galleries or online. The series links public institutions  globally, foregrounding the important work which museums and galleries do by collecting and displaying women and gender non-conforming artists, whether historical or contemporary.

At The Hepworth Wakefield, Hessel will look to British modernist Barbara Hepworth, focusing on three of her sculptural works to reflect on her interest in forms, shapes and textures and her early life in Wakefield.

Other stops in the guide will feature Lucie Rie’s experimental ceramics, Rene Matićs intimate photographs and Jadé Fadojutimi’s dynamic canvases.

Olivia Colling, Deputy Director at The Hepworth Wakefield, says: ‘Since the earliest days of The Hepworth Wakefield, we have championed women artists in our exhibition programme and have focused on addressing the historic gender imbalance in the collection through strategic acquisitions of work by women and gender non-conforming artists. Wakefield’s art collection now has an amazing selection of works by great women artists, not least Barbara Hepworth. This new audio guide will highlight 10 key works in our collection by women and gender non-conforming artists, bringing their stories to a global audience.’

Katy Hessel says: ‘I am thrilled to be working with institutions to spotlight women artists in their collections. While the gender imbalance is still acutely visible – an issue many institutions are working on rectifying – I hope this project will help focus attention on the works by women that already exist in collections worldwide. My wish is to introduce new and existing museum visitors, of all backgrounds, to artists they may not be familiar with, and to shed light on great works in all art forms.’