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Art & artists > Our collection > The Hepworth Family Gift >

Barbara Hepworth

Elegy III

1903 – 1975

Elegy III
Plaster, painted brown on the exterior and blue/green in the interior, on a black painted wooden base
135 × 71.5 × 56.2 cm
Presented by the artist’s daughters, Rachel Kidd and Sarah Bowness, through the Trustees of the Barbara Hepworth Estate and the Art Fund


This plaster was made at the Morris Singer foundry in the summer of 1966 from the 1965 elmwood carving Hollow Form with White, and cast in bronze. The new title Elegy relates it to a pair of wood carvings of the mid-1940s and to one of 1952, Head (Elegy). The plaster was one of the group returned to Hepworth in the summer of 1968 to be shown in her Freedom of St Ives exhibitions.

The elaborate paintwork was almost certainly done then for the exhibition, probably by Morris Singer. The plaster has a simulated wood effect on the exterior that is unique in the surviving plasters, which has been very convincingly done but not so as to resemble the much paler elm original. Its interior is painted blue-green and resembles the blue patina Hepworth used on the interior of the bronze edition. She had requested this colour to be ‘as blue as Gordon Duffle [Morris Singer’s patinator] can get it inside’.