Barbara Hepworth Museum & Sculpture Garden, St. Ives
History, tourist information, and nearby accommodation
Barbara Hepworth was one of the leading sculptors of the 20th century, and one of the artists most responsible for making St Ives such a popular centre for the arts. Her studio and the sculpture garden that surrounds it are now operated by the Tate St. Ives museum to showcase her work. Hepworth herself created the sculpture garden, and requested that her work be displayed exactly as she placed it within the garden.
Hepworth lived in St. Ives from 1939 until her tragic death in a studio fire in 1975. She was drawn to southern Cornwall, as many artists are, by the wonderful light for which the area is famous.
Most of her sculpture can be characterised as abstract; she preferred to create impressions of objects rather than portray the objects themselves. She worked in a variety of mediums, and sculptures in wood, stone, and bronze are on display, as well as paintings, drawings, and archival material.
The Hepworth gallery and sculpture garden is well-signposted from the harbour area and is easy to reach on foot. There are joint tickets available for the gallery and the nearby Tate.
Our family visited on a lovely spring day in April. Our visit started on the ground floor of the studio, where there is an exhibit tracing Hepworth's life and artistic career. From the exhibit, a stairway leads up to a spacious and light-filled gallery space on the first floor holding several of Hepworth's smaller pieces in a mix of materials.
Each piece is numbered. Here you can pick up laminated sheets detailing each numbered piece of artwork. From this indoor space, steps lead outside to the sculpture garden. This is a relatively small area but beautifully laid out with a mix of plants and sculptural pieces arranged as Hepworth wanted them.
Though many of the pieces are quite large, others are smaller, and the combination of the sculptures and the living plants is simply sublime. This is a place you can relax and soak up the atmosphere for a long, long time. Highly recommended.
About Hepworth Museum
Address: Barnoon Hill, St Ives, Cornwall, England, TR26 1AD
Attraction Type: Museum
Website: Hepworth Museum
Photo Credit: David Ross and Britain Express
NEARBY HISTORIC ATTRACTIONS
Heritage Rated from 1- 5 (low to exceptional) on historic interest
St Ives, St Ia's Church - 0.1 miles (Historic Church)
Tate St Ives - 0.1 miles (Museum)
Barnoon Cemetery - 0.1 miles (Landmark)
St Ives, St Leonard's Chapel - 0.2 miles (Historic Church)
St Ives Museum - 0.3 miles (Museum)
St Ives, St Nicholas Chapel - 0.4 miles (Historic Church)
Towednack Church - 2.5 miles (Historic Church)
Paradise Park Wildlife Sanctuary - 3.4 miles (Family Attraction)
Nearest Accommodation to Hepworth Museum: