Don’t miss Barbara Hepworth in St Albans

July 24th 2019
By: Melanie Hollidge
Don’t miss Barbara Hepworth in St Albans

Barbara​ Hepworth: artist in society 1948-53 is a major exhibition explores a short but significant period in the life of one of Britain’s most celebrated artists. It is on at St Albans Museum + Gallery, Town Hall, St Peter's Street, St Albans AL1 3DH from 23rd of March until the 8th September 2019.

When an exhibition is on for a few months it is really easy to have the intentions to go and then find it is over. As the silly season approaches it is even easier to find you have not been taking in the wonderful culture on your doorstep in St Albans and Harpenden until it is over. 

Don’t miss this major exhibition that explores a short, yet significant, period in the life of Barbara​ Hepworth Hepworth’s work and her little-known connection to Hertfordshire. Following a decade of preoccupation with landscape, Hepworth moved naturally between abstraction and the figure in the years 1948 to 1953, capturing the human form across drawing and sculpture. Finding inspiration in the movements of people in Venice’s St Mark’s Square to dancers in her Trewyn Studio and medical teams performing operations, this poignant exhibition introduces sculptures, drawings and archival material, reuniting works that have not been seen together since they were first created. 

It brings together sculptures and drawings, some of which have not been seen together since they were first created 70 years ago, this unique exhibition focuses on an important period in Hepworth’s career immediately after the Second World War. Between 1948 and 1953, a connection between Hepworth and Hertfordshire was also formed through a number of sculptural purchases and commissions. Two major sculptures commissioned for the Festival of Britain, Turning Forms and Contrapuntal Forms, were relocated to the area when the festival ended.

A more intimate piece Eocene was acquired by Hertfordshire Schools Collection (currently displayed at St Albans Girls’ School) and in 1951 Hepworth was commissioned to carve Vertical Forms for Hatfield Technical College (now the University of Hertfordshire).  The exhibition is curated by Dr Sophie Bowness, Barbara Hepworth Estate and Annabel Lucas, Head of UHArts, University of Hertfordshire.