The centrepiece of The Hepworth’s collection will include a gift from the Hepworth Estate of over thirty of the artists’ original plasters. It was these plaster carvings that Barbara Hepworth worked on directly in preparation for her final cast sculptures. These will be displayed alongside a selection of work by other 20th-century artists including Ben Nicholson, Paul Nash, Jacob Epstein, Ivon Hitchens, David Bomberg, Walter Sickert, Graham Sutherland and Henry Moore.
The gallery also has a collection of contemporary works, including pieces by artists as diverse as Maggi Hambling, Mat Collishaw, Bruce McLean, Anthony Caro, Bryan Kneale, Kim Lim and William Tucker.
The Hepworth is due to open in Spring 2011 with an exhibition by Eva Rothschild. The architect, David Chipperfield, will also be completing another cultural building this year, Turner Contemporary in Margate.
The new building in Wakefield is positioned on the edge of the water, almost getting its feet wet. The great artist Barbara Hepworth, most often associated with St Ives, was born in Wakefield, hence the gallery’s name.
This new building is being developed in celebration of her work and the museum will be one of a new generation of institutions that will set renewed aspirations for the way in which we should be displaying and working with our public collections.