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Hepworth Wakefield by Marc Atkins / Art Fund 2017
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The Hepworth Family Gift / Hepworth At Work

On permanent display

Free entry

This permanent exhibition explores Barbara Hepworth’s studio environment, her tools and materials, and the works she created in the later years of her life, including a unique collection of the artist’s working models for her bronze sculptures.

The Hepworth Family Gift comprises 44 surviving prototypes in plaster, aluminium and wood, as well as drawings, lithographs and screen prints. Hepworth did not see the prototypes as works of art, but as the first stage in the process of casting a bronze or aluminium work.

The majority of these works are the original plasters that Hepworth worked on with her own hands. You can see the marks of her tools on them. Texture was very important to Hepworth, and you get a good sense of this when you see these works in person. There is huge variety among the group, both in scale and texture.

The gift was generously given by the Hepworth family through the Art Fund.

View The Hepworth Family Gift image gallery here.

The centrepiece is the prototype for Winged Figure, a commission from John Lewis for their flagship store on Oxford Street in London. At nearly six metres in height, this is the only full-size working model of Hepworth’s monumental commissions to survive.

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