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Barbara Hepworth Museum

barbara hepworth museum outside

Barbara Hepworth Museum & Sculpture Garden An Arts Adventure in St Ives

Nestled within the heart of picturesque St Ives sits the captivating home and workspace that sculptor Dame Barbara Hepworth inhabited for decades until her death in 1975. It is now a dedicated museum showcasing her remarkable influence and achievements, visiting promises truly memorable arts encounters for every mood.

Whether enjoying guided tours explaining Hepworth’s creative talents or simply wandering the magical sculpture garden at your own pace, prepare to be inspired at this quintessentially St Ives arts adventure. Here’s everything you need to plan an unforgettable cultural day

barbara hepworth museum

Getting There

The Barbara Hepworth Museum enjoys a prime spot occupying the modernist Palais de Danse building on Hepworth’s former home studio grounds where she lived from 1949.

You’ll discover it centrally placed at the top of lively Fore Street as it opens onto Back Road West behind Sloop Craft and Gallery. Paid parking spaces line the museum access lane or it’s a short 5 minute walk uphill from St Ives train station.

Opening Times & Tickets

The museum is open daily:

March – October, 10am – 5:20pm | November – February, 10am – 4:20pm

Adult: £9.00 | Concession: £8.00 | Children under 16: FREE

Reduced price Winter tickets (Nov-Feb) save 15% on admissions for all. Family tickets also available from £18. You can buy online tickets here for a reduced cost.

Free tours and guided walks focusing on Hepworth’s life run Tues, Thurs and Saturdays at 2:30pm from the entrance.

barbara hepworth

Short history of Barbara Hepworth

Barbara Hepworth was a pioneering figure in 20th-century sculpture. She left an indelible mark on the art world with her distinctive style and innovative approach. Born in Wakefield, Yorkshire in 1903, Hepworth’s artistic journey began at Leeds School of Art and later at the Royal College of Art in London, where she honed her skills and developed a keen interest in sculpture.

Hepworth’s style was deeply influenced by her surroundings, particularly her time spent in St Ives, Cornwall. The rugged coastal landscape and the interplay of light and shadow in this beautiful town provided her with endless inspiration. It was here that she found her artistic voice, experimenting with abstract forms and exploring the relationship between space and mass.

One of Hepworth’s most notable contributions to modern sculpture was her pioneering work in the realm of abstraction. She embraced the principles of abstraction, often incorporating organic shapes and flowing lines into her pieces. Her sculptures, characterized by their smooth surfaces and geometric simplicity, evoke a sense of harmony and balance that reflects her deep connection to the natural world.

St Ives played a significant role in Hepworth’s artistic development as can be seen at the Barbara Hepworth museum. The vibrant artistic community that thrived in the town during the mid-20th century provided her with a supportive environment in which to explore new ideas and techniques. Hepworth’s studio in St Ives became a hub of creativity, attracting artists and intellectuals from around the world.

sculptures at barbara hepworth museum

The Museum & Garden Highlight

Step into Hepworth’s light-filled former painting studio left remarkably intact. Stand before original works in bronze, stone and wood she crafted until her later years. Be sure not to miss her iconic Pierced Form and peer through doorways into the kitchen and work rooms too for wonderful snapshots of her lif

At the museum, visitors can immerse themselves in Hepworth’s world through a carefully curated collection of sculptures, drawings, and personal memorabilia. The museum’s intimate setting, housed within Hepworth’s former studio and home, offers a rare glimpse into the artist’s creative process and the environments that inspired her work.

The highlight of the museum experience is undoubtedly the sculpture garden, a tranquil oasis where Hepworth’s sculptures are displayed amidst lush greenery and winding pathways. Here, visitors can wander among iconic works such as “Single Form” and “Curved Form (Delphi),” experiencing the interplay between art and nature that was central to Hepworth’s artistic philosophy.

In addition to its permanent collection, the museum regularly hosts temporary exhibitions and events that celebrate Hepworth’s legacy and explore themes related to modern sculpture and abstraction. Educational programs and guided tours are also available for those looking to delve deeper into Hepworth’s life and art.

The Barbara Hepworth Museum and Sculpture Garden is not only a testament to Hepworth’s enduring influence on the art world but also a cherished cultural landmark in St Ives. Whether you’re a seasoned art enthusiast or simply seeking inspiration amidst Cornwall’s stunning landscape, a visit to this museum is sure to leave a lasting impression.

interior sculpture

Don’t Miss…

  • Expert-led Focus Tours explaining Hepworth’s creative style and technique (Tues and Thurs at 2:30pm only)
  • The quirky walled garden displaying vibrant exhibits from emerging local artists
  • Browsing beautiful art catalogues and exclusive gifts reflecting Hepworth’s works in the shop

Frequently Asked Questions

Is photography allowed inside the Barbara Hepworth Museum? – Yes, photography for personal use is permitted, but flash photography and tripods are not allowed.

Can I bring my dog to the museum? -Only registered assistance dogs are allowed inside the museum and sculpture garden.

Is the museum wheelchair accessible? -Yes, the museum is wheelchair accessible, with ramps and lifts available for access to all areas.

Are there guided tours available? -Yes, guided tours are available at scheduled times. Check with museum staff for details.

How long does it typically take to tour the Barbara Hepworth museum and sculpture garden? -Most visitors spend around 1-2 hours exploring both the museum and sculpture garden.

Are there facilities for families with young children? – Yes, the museum offers family-friendly activities and facilities, including interactive exhibits and children’s workshops.

garden at barbara hepworth museum

Other nearby attractions

When you are in St Ives to visit the Barbara Hepworth Museum, you should take the chance to visit some of these other places too:

  • Tate St Ives – Overlooking Porthmeor Beach, this gallery hosts major exhibitions showcasing various modern art forms from sculptures and paintings to photography and textiles by artists like Hepworth, Matisse and Picasso.
  • St Ives Harbour – This picturesque harbour boasts scenic views across the turquoise sea to Godrevy Lighthouse, with cobbled streets lined with cafés, independent shops and art galleries winding through the historic port behind it.
  • Porthminster Beach – Found moments from St Ives train station and town centre, this stunning Blue Flag beach has soft golden sand, a beachfront bistro, the Porthminster Cafe and uninterrupted sea views towards Godrevy.
  • Tremenheere Sculpture Gardens – Displaying ever-changing exhibitions, these unique subtropical gardens near Gulval combine contemporary sculptures with streams, ponds and plants across the valley setting.
  • Geevor Tin Mine – Visit this preserved 18th century tin mine near Pendeen to go underground and explore Cornwall’s mining heritage, including the machinery used with informative displays.
  • Minack Theatre – Watch an open-air performance from tiered seating carved into the dramatic clifftop surroundings at this famous theatre near Porthcurno, open between spring and autumn.
  • St Michael’s Mount – Catch a ferry or walk across the causeway from Marazion at low tide to explore this intriguing tidal island topped with a medieval castle and church sat above colourful Georgian houses and fisherman’s cottages.
  • Trengwainton Garden – Dating from the 1820s, this National Trust garden near Madron contains exotic flowering plants from across the globe set amongst scenic wooded areas and alongside several architectural follies.
  • Levant Mine and Beam Engine – Tour the 1840s beam engine, once used to power Europe’s deepest mine shaft, along the famous Tin Coast near St Just which offers insight into Cornwall’s mining industry.

Learn more about Barbara Hepworth

barbara hepworth

Barbara Hepworth” by Sophie Bowness offers a comprehensive exploration of the life and works of the iconic sculptor, providing insights into her artistic process and legacy.

Buy Now

Far more than a standard art museum or gallery, a trip to the Barbara Hepworth Museum guarantees inspiration, inviting you to reconnect with her exceptional creative talents through the years. An absolute must on any St Ives cultural journey!

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