Today we are celebrating the 109th birthday of the leading British contemporary artist – Barbara Hepworth.
Born in Wakefield, Yorkshire, Hepworth attended the Leeds School of Art and studied sculpture at the Royal College of Art. After winning a West Riding Scholarship for one year’s travel abroad, she spent it in Italy where she spent her first months studying Romanesque and early Renaissance art and architecture in Tuscany.
Hepworth’s first marriage was to the sculptor John Skeaping, with whom she had a son, Paul. Her second marriage was to the painter Ben Nicholson, which whom she had triplets: Simon, Rachel and Sarah.
The triplets were an inspiration for one of her most famous works – Conoid, Sphere and Hollow III. The sculpture explores the spatial relationship between three sculpted forms. The work has been displayed in Number 10 Downing Street and HM Treasury as well as in the British Ambassador’s residence in Paris.
The sculpture along with other works by Hepworth provided by the the Britain’s Government Art Collection (GAC) can be seen displayed in the U.K.’s main government buildings, British Embassies and Residencies. “Thousands of people visit these buildings every year and see the works of art in non-gallery environments. The works contribute to cultural diplomacy by promoting British art and artists, and help build the relationships which ministers and ambassadors have with those who visit their offices”, says GAC.