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

Barbara Hepworth

Three Hemispheres

1903 – 1975

Three Hemispheres
Plaster on a plaster base
Each hemisphere: 13.7 cm diameter
Presented by the artist’s daughters, Rachel Kidd and Sarah Bowness, through the Trustees of the Barbara Hepworth Estate and the Art Fund


There is a retrospective aspect to Hepworth’s work of the 1960s and 1970s, with the abstraction of the 1930s as a particular point of reference. The formal purity of the 1930s is recalled in the simple geometric forms of a work such as Three Hemispheres, which is composed of one holed hemisphere, one hollowed and one flat.  Hepworth subsequently made a four-part variation on this theme, Four Hemispheres, in Serravezza marble and lead crystal, while Three Hemispheres was cast in polished bronze.

The forms also reflect contemporary technological developments, to which Hepworth was attuned. Hepworth linked these half spheres to the forms of the satellite dishes at Goonhilly in Cornwall, which were built in 1962 to connect with Telstar. In an interview in 1971 she remembered, ‘I was invited to go on board the first one when it began to go round, and it was so magical and so strange. I find such forms of our technology very exciting and inspiring.’