Just a 10-minute walk away from the world-famous Tate St Ives gallery in the heart of the quaint Cornish town is the Barbara Hepworth Museum and Sculpture Garden. The two art attractions are connected and joint tickets can be purchased, however if you’ve already visited Tate, make sure you find the time to explore the Hepworth museum too.
Dame Jocelyn Barbara Hepworth was a leading figure in British modern art. In 1949, the sculptor and artist created a studio and sculpture garden – then called Trewyn – in St Ives, where she worked and lived until she died in 1975. She had actually moved to Cornwall in 1939, however, with her husband – abstract painter Ben Nicholson – and young family but she divorced Nicholson in 1951 before becoming an active figure in the development of the blossoming St Ives modernist art community.
In 1968, Hepworth was awarded the Freedom of St Ives to acknowledge her contribution to the town. She’s still posthumously contributing today as the museum attracts hordes of sculpture lovers from across the world every week. The museum and garden opened in 1976 and the Tate has been managing it since 1980.
Follow a one-way route around the museum, including Hepworth’s home, studio and garden. There are more than 30 works in stone, plaster, wood and bronze on display. In fact, Hepworth first explored sculpting with bronze once she was settled at the studio, so the bronze works here are a must-admire. Enjoy some of this influential artist’s monumental sculptures in the exact surroundings for which they were created when you explore this unique museum.