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Elizabeth A.Sackler Center for Feminist Art

Barbara Hepworth

b. 1903, Wakefield, Yorkshire, England; d. 1975, St. Ives, Cornwall, England

Sculptor Barbara Hepworth was one of the central figures of the abstract movement in England. In 1919, she became a student at the Leeds School of Art, where she began a lifelong friendship with the sculptor Henry Moore, one of the many artists with whom she would exchange ideas throughout her career. Hepworth worked in wood, stone, and ultimately bronze, creating abstract pieces that demonstrated an affinity with natural and geometric forms. She was responsible for developing the sculptural technique of piercing a solid mass to make a hole, rendering her works more fluid, open, and connected with their immediate environment. Hepworth’s work was shown in numerous exhibitions, including a retrospective in 1943 at the Temple Newsam House in Leeds. After her death, her studio became part of the Tate Gallery as the Barbara Hepworth Museum.