Barbra Hepworth Museum and Sculpture Garden
The Barbara Hepworth Museum and Sculpture Garden are located in the centre of St Ives and preserves the 20th-century sculptor Barbra Hepworth’s studio and garden pretty much as they were when she lived and worked there.
Barbra Hepworth was a pioneer in the field of modern sculpture and is considered to be one of the finest sculptures of the twentieth century. She demonstrated a tremendous talent, utilising a variety of materials throughout her career. She revelled in carving directly into wood and stone. Although it is her external work in bronze that she is best known for.
She acquired the Trewyn Studio in 1949, lived and continued to work there until her untimely death in 1975, owing to a fire on the premises.
This intimate museum and gardens serve to offer an insight into the incredible work of this highly esteemed artist. Her studio and gardens are home to a varied selection of pieces and the story line is clearly represented with photos and text throughout. The fact that you get to see these beautiful sculptures up close is superb.
The sculptures are charmingly laid out, with most of the bronze sculptures in the original positions in which she placed them. The gardens were also laid out by Barbra who was assisted by her friend, the composer Priaulx Rainier, and the two complement each other beautifully, the gardens are the ideal backdrop for her art, as they make the pieces come alive.
During a visit you can find out about her nature-inspired artworks and her famous pieces: the pierced sculptures like Single Form and Pierced Form. There are interesting displays that provide all the bio information, as well as gorgeous books.
The very knowledgeable guides explain how she worked and what her inspirations were. Guided tours are free and take place daily at 12.00 pm and last approximately 30 minutes, they are a fantastic introduction into the life and work of this incredible artist and really bring this history of the house and gardens to life. With her work coats and tools lying around, it feels as if she has just popped out and still lives there.
The gardens are so tranquil and there are lovely views from the hidden garden across the roofs of St Ives, you are far removed from the hustle and bustle of the town. It makes for a really inspirational visit.
Even if you are not an art lover, you will appreciate this fascinating museum.