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Ethel Walker, Barbara Hepworth as a teenager, c.1920, oil on canvas (detail). The Hepworth Wakefield (Wakefield Council Permanent Art Collection). The Estate of Dame Ethel Walker/Bridgeman Images.
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Hepworth In Yorkshire

16 May 2015 - 13 Mar 2016

Hepworth in Yorkshire looked at Hepworth’s early years growing up in Wakefield, displaying archival material and work relating to her family and childhood.

This was accompanied by early drawings, paintings and sculpture that show Hepworth’s natural gifts in these areas. Newspaper articles and photography documented her early successes and engagement with an academic figurative style that she would soon depart from to find her own artistic voice.

Photographic images Hepworth took or commissioned of Yorkshire were presented alongside these early works, reflecting her assertion that the experience of growing up in this area was hugely influential.

The centrepiece of this display was a portrait of Hepworth, painted when she was a teenager by noted artist Ethel Walker, who lived part-time in Robin Hood’s Bay. This work has been generously gifted to The Hepworth Wakefield from a private collection, returning Hepworth to her birthplace.