Wednesday, September 29, 2021

Art Eyewitness Essay: Samuel Palmer's Mystical Landscapes


Art Eyewitness Essay: 

Samuel Palmer's Mystical Landscapes

By Ed Voves

If you speak to hunting or fishing enthusiasts, it isn't the deer or the trout that they "bag" which really resonates in their recollections. It is the "one that got away."

The same is true for art lovers. Of the special exhibitions that I could not manage to visit, the Metropolitan Museum's 2006 exhibition of the art of Samuel Palmer sticks in my mind as "one that got away."

In early June 2021, my wife and I went to New York for a visit, to the headquarters of the auction company, Sotheby's. We went specifically to see a collection of manuscripts and literary works relating to the celebrated Brontë family.  Among the objects on view was a rare draft of poems, composed and written by Emily Brontë, which inspired the eventual decision of the Brontë sisters to publish their epic novels.

Another gallery at Sotheby's featured an exhibition, Fine Line: Master Works on Paper from Five Centuries. Anne and I peeked in and were surprised to find that we had the gallery to ourselves. 

Anne Lloyd, Photo (2020)
 Samuel Palmer's A Shepherd leading his flock under the full moon.
 C. 1829-1830

Even more amazing was the presence of a watercolor by Samuel Palmer (1805-1881). Moreover, this signature work dated to Palmer's fabled years when he lived and worked in the "valley of vision" of Shoreham, Kent. 

The Palmer watercolor on view at Sotheby's was one of his darkly-hued "Blacks" or "moonshines." It is entitled A Shepherd Leading His Flock under the Full Moon, painted in 1829-1830.

Palmer often painted such works entirely with black and brown watercolors, sometimes with touches of India ink. Occasionally, Palmer mixed gum arabic with his colors to give added definition and texture to his works which deliberately reflected his love of medieval art. 

Anne Lloyd, Photo (2020) 
Detail of A Shepherd leading his flock under the full moon,1829-1830

Not surprisingly, Palmer's compositions usually depicted the the hours of twilight or night with the moon prominently overhead. Palmer was a vigorous and expert - practitioner of scratching-out the light areas in these nocturnal paintings, thus letting the heavy paper or card stock provide the color of moonlight or the lingering rays of the setting sun.

A Shepherd Leading His Flock under the Full Moon was on view at Sotheby's for a very practical reason. It was being advertised for sale at an upcoming auction, to be held in London. The appraisal price was £700,000 to £900,000. When the final bid was made and the gavel sounded on July 7, 2021, Palmer's "moonshine" had sold for £1,588,000, twice the low estimate. 

Such an astronomical sum would have been inconceivable to Samuel Palmer. He regarded the London art market as a disagreeable "pit." During his years in rural Shoreham,1825-1833, Palmer aimed to use a small financial legacy to create a haven for idealistic artists where "the beautiful was loved for itself." 

Among Palmer's closest friends and a frequent visitor to Shoreham was George Richmond, who later created a celebrated portrait of Charlotte Brontë. He did the same for Palmer, complete with the "biblical" beard and flowing hair which he affected during the Shoreham years.

George Richmond, Samuel Palmer, c. 1829

Palmer's vision, however, soon had to compete with reality. Frequent rejection of his "primitive" paintings by the Royal Academy led, remorselessly, to the dwindling of his funds and the eventual dispersal of the "Ancients" as his band of brother artists called themselves.  

I might have regarded my one-on-one encounter with Samuel Palmer at Sotheby's as a similarly brief, if rewarding, episode. But another incident soon revived my interest in this fascinating, mystical artist.

Shortly before 11:30 PM on September 14th, I glanced up at the night sky from our front porch. I was stunned to see the moon, very-low to the horizon, to the southwest of our home. It appeared to be setting, though it was far too early and in the wrong place for that to be happening. The moon, blood orange in color, appeared to be skewed by the diagonal shadow over its upper reaches. 

Anne Lloyd, Photo (2021)
View of the Moon over Philadelphia, September 14, 2021

It was an eerie, unsettling image. Anne gamely took a couple of photos for the record. Neither of us could remember ever seeing the moon that low, that color, in that position at that time in the evening.

No doubt there is a scientific explanation for the moon's appearance on September 14th. But I did not pursue the matter because my thoughts were already turning to Samuel Palmer. It was "moonshines" like this which stimulated him to create singular, unforgettable works of art such as the one I studied at Sotheby's.

Samuel Palmer, Cornfield by Moonlight, with the Evening Star, c.1830

Samuel Palmer came of age during the aftermath of the Napoleonic Wars when the first, disturbing implications of industrialization were becoming impossible to deny. It was a very unsettled era, much like our own, two centuries later.

Born in 1805, Palmer early displayed notable artistic promise. Beginning in 1819, he had landscape paintings in watercolor accepted for display at the Royal Academy. But this great success at such an early age did not lead to the expected step of formally enrolling in the Royal Academy or working in the studio of one of the RA's leading painters.

A deeply sensitive youth, Palmer was consumed by a classic religious faith/doubt struggle. Then, on October 9, 1824, Palmer was introduced to William Blake. Palmer's outlook on life, art and spiritual destiny shifted onto a high, transcendental, plateau after meeting Blake, the "prophet" of British art. This encounter set him on the path to Shoreham, Kent, twenty miles to the south of London, where he founded his now famous art colony.

At this point, I want to recognize the great research into Palmer's life by William Vaughn, the noted British art scholar, who was the co-curator of the 2006 Metropolitan Museum exhibit. Vaughn is also the author of the definitive book, Samuel Palmer: Shadows on the Wall, published in 2015, by Yale University Press. It is a little late to do a book review, but this magnificent volume needs to be acknowledged as foundational for understanding Palmer and appreciating his art.   

It is not my intention to write a biographical essay on Palmer by drawing upon Vaughn's intensive study and brilliant commentary. Rather, I am offering some reflections on why Palmer's art is so appealing in troubled times.

Palmer's reputation, of limited influence while he lived, was revitalized by a landmark exhibition in 1926. Palmer's mystical landscapes struck a chord with the "Lost Generation" of World War I. In 1947, with London still devastated by the World War II "Blitz", a major study of Palmer's years at Shoreham sparked a second revival. In an age marked by pandemics and global strife, we now find ourselves searching for answers, psychologically in need of a new "Samuel Palmer moment." 

Two centuries ago, Palmer was in a similar state of doubt and anxiety. In a particularly insightful chapter of his book, Vaughn analyzes a rare, surviving sketchbook of Palmer's. Filled with pithy "notes to self" as well as drawings, it is a revelatory document, opening a window to the young Palmer's mind and soul.

The seventy-seven page sketchbook, dates to 1824-25, the period when Palmer was befriended by Blake. There are certainly Blake-like elements among the sketches, but the notes show Palmer to have been less a disciple of Blake than a kindred soul.

Palmer's notes and sketches can be studied online, via the website of the British Museum, where the actual sketchbook resides. The range of Palmer's ideas and observations is truly remarkable. Detailed, minute study shares the pages with visionary observations. Palmer recorded useful data, the texture of tree bark and the shape of leaves, along with thoughtful, often humorous, "memoranda" to spur himself on.

Samuel Palmer
Studies, formerly in a sketch-book of 77 sketches, c. 1824

This sense of Palmer's individualism is key to comprehending him. He was truly a singular artist and a unique human being. Conventional accounts describe him differently, as a disciple of Blake and as the leader of the Ancients. Once Blake died and the Ancients went their separate ways, Palmer's early promise faded away. So say the textbooks.

Palmer, however, is not easily bracketed with other artists. His art was similar to Blake's in spirit rather than in form. As Vaughn shows, Richmond and the others in the group only visited Shoreham for brief intervals. The Ancients never formed a "united front" in the way that the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood did, during the 1850's.

Palmer was always his own man and his own artist. Like many devout Christians, he was convinced that the hand of God could be seen in the natural world. John Constable likewise affirmed his belief in this idea of "intelligent design" when he asserted that "nature is congenial with the elements of the planet itself ... We are no doubt placed in a paradise here if we choose to make it such …"

Read closely, there is a secular, earth-focused note to Constable's statement. Palmer would not have disagreed with making "a paradise here." However his artistic - and cosmic - vision reached beyond to where "nature has properties which lie still deeper, and when they are brought out the picture must be most elaborate and full of matter ... and be what would have pleased men in the early ages, when poetry was at its acme, and yet men lived in a simple, pastoral way."

Samuel Palmer, The Harvest Moon, 1833

Palmer envisioned using images of shepherds, plowmen and other county folk to promote traditional social values and Christian religious ideals. It was no easy task as the Industrial Revolution propelled Britain on an increasingly mechanized and urbanized course of development.

In 1832, political events challenged Palmer's hopes for a "a paradise here" and in the hereafter. The Great Reform Bill brought political power to the British middle-class. The rural land-owning aristocrats and the Church of England had to adapt -and so did Palmer.

The Shoreham experiment came to an end. Most biographies of Palmer effectively conclude at this point, with a brief afterward on his "disappointing" London-based career. While Vaughn extols the soulful, moonlit landscapes of the Shoreham years as works of special brilliance, he does not regard Palmer's later years as devoid of achievement.

Two points need to be emphasized in considering the "later" Palmer. 

Samuel Palmer, Near Underriver, Sevenoaks, Kent, c. 1843

As Palmer adapted to the dictates of the Victorian art market, he displayed exceptional talent and versatility. Due to his lack of formal, Royal Academy training, portrait painting was not an option. Yet his landscapes compare favorably with other major British artists. Whether paintings like Near Underriver, Sevenoaks, Kent (painted in watercolor in 1843 after Palmer decided  to concentrate on that medium) or etchings which he took-up in the 1850's, Palmer demonstrated a high level of mastery, indeed.

Samuel Palmer, The Herdsman's Cottage, 1850

The second point is perhaps more significant. Although he no longer embraced the "wonted outlandishness" of the Shoreham years, Palmer never ceased experimenting with new, unconventional techniques. As a result, he was accused of eccentricity and of "excesses" similar to those of J.M.W. Turner. Palmer was perhaps quietly pleased at this last rebuke, as he always had high regard for Turner.

Implicit in such criticism is the fact that Palmer always found a way to impart some form of mysticism, some element of spirituality to his later works of art, paintings or etchings. In a world of conformity, hedged in by High Victorian materialism and Social Darwinism, Palmer continued to reserve a place where human beings could commune with God under the light of the moon. 

Samuel Palmer, The Lonely Tower, c. 1880-81

"I have beheld as in the spirit, such nooks," Palmer confided to George Richmond, "caught such glimpses of the perfumed and enchanted twilight - of natural midsummer."

Palmer made this revelation in 1827, early-on during the Shoreham years. And though he left his Kentish refuge in 1833, this experience of the presence of God in nature, traveled with him. 

Such a "nook", the place in which human beings encounter divinity, can be found anywhere. Wherever the Spirit dwells, there this meeting may occur. In a moon-lit garden or in the night sky above your home, there God is.


Text: Copyright of Ed Voves, all rights reserved. Original photos by Anne Lloyd, all rights reserved. 

Introductory image: Samuel Palmer (British, 1805-1881) In a Shoreham Garden, c. 1829. India ink, with watercolor and gouach: : 28.2 cm x  22.3cm. Victoria and Albert Museum.

Anne Lloyd, Photo (2020) Samuel Palmer's A Shepherd leading his flock under the full moon. Ca. 1829-1830. Black watercolor over black chalk; heightened with scratching out on card: 148 x 178 mm. Sold for £ 1,588,000 GBP on July 7, 2021 at the Sotheby auction, Fine Line: Master Works on Paper from Five Centuries.

Anne Lloyd, Photo (2020) Detail of Samuel Palmer's A Shepherd leading his flock under the full moon,1829-1830.

George Richmond (British, 1809-1896) Samuel Palmer, c. 1829. Pencil, pen and ink: 9 3/8 in. x 8 in. (238 mm x 203 mm) National Portrait Gallery, London. Given by Misses F.M. and E. Redgrave, 1927. NPG 2154

Anne Lloyd, Photo (2021) View of the Moon over Philadelphia, September 14, 2021.

Samuel Palmer (British, 1805-1881) Cornfield by Moonlight, with the Evening Star; bundles of corn and a farmer with staff in the foreground, c.1830. Watercolour and bodycolour, with pen and ink. varnished: : 197 mm x  298 mm. British Museum, 1985,0504.1 © The Trustees of the British Museum.

Samuel Palmer (British, 1805-1881) Studies, formerly in a sketch-book of 77 sketches bound originally in sheep-skin, c. 1824.Tower and head,at left a tower surmounted by a weather-vane, crescent moon behind, at right the profile of an old man, c.1824 Pen and brown ink. © The Trustees of the British Museum

Samuel Palmer (British, 1805-1881) Studies, formerly in a sketch-book of 77 sketches bound originally in sheep-skin, c. 1824 Studies of trees, three large, one small, in a lightly indicated landscape, c.1824 Pen and brown ink. © The Trustees of the British Museum

Samuel Palmer (British, 1805-1881) The Harvest Moon, 1833. Oil and tempera: 22.1 x 27.7 cm. Yale Center for British Art

Samuel Palmer (British,1805-1881) Near Underriver, Sevenoaks, Kent, ca. 1843. Watercolor and opaque watercolor applied with brush, and ink and pen:10 3/4 x 15 1/8 inches. Rhode Island School of Design # 69.154.13

Samuel Palmer (British,1805-1881) The Herdsman's Cottage, 1850. Etching: Plate:  4 7/8 x 4 inches (12.4 x 10.1 cm) Sheet: 13 7/16 x 9 5/16 inches (34.1 x 23.6 cm). Philadelphia Museum of Art. #1985-52-22830

Samuel Palmer (British, 1805-1881) The Lonely Tower, c. 1880-81. Opaque watercolor over traces of graphite on board:  6 5/8 × 9 1/4 in. (16.8 × 23.5 cm.) Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens. Gilbert Davis Collection. #: 59.55.984

Saturday, September 11, 2021

Art Eyewitness Book Review: Barbara Hepworth: Art and Life


Barbara Hepworth: Art and Life

By Eleanor Clayton

Thames & Hudson/288 pages/$39.95

Reviewed by Ed Voves

Barbara Hepworth was born on January 10, 1903. Britain's Edwardian Age, with its great affluence, class divisions and growing concern about the threat of war in Europe, was in full flower. It was also the year when the Wright Brothers took to the air in their flying machine. It was a momentous year to be born.

Hepworth, one of the greatest sculptors of the modern age, is currently being celebrated by a major exhibition in her home town, Wakefield, Yorkshire, and in a splendid biography by Eleanor Clayton.

Barbara Hepworth: Art and Life, exhibition and book, could not be better timed. Hepworth's career calls for a reappraisal. She was such an accomplished artist and - during the last years of her life - a very successful one that she became something of an "establishment" figure. Respectfully placed in a niche of honor, Hepworth has in recent years been taken for granted, a victim of her own achievements.

The story of Hepworth's life and art deserves better and Clayton's biography restores her as a dynamic presence in modern art. I am sure the same can be said for the Hepworth Wakefield exhibition, judging by the photos I have seen of this impressive survey of Hepworth's oeuvre.


Installation image of Barbara Hepworth: Art and Life at The Hepworth Wakefield, 2021. Photo by Lewis Ronald Plastiques

Hepworth's intriguing, shape-shifting sculptures visually define the seismic alterations which have occurred since the certainties of the Edwardian era gave way to the world of constant change of the late twentieth century. Clayton wisely establishes the foundational tenets of Hepworth the sculptor in the opening pages of the book. In this way, we can better comprehend how Hepworth the person - public and private - responded to the world around her.

As briefly stated in Clayton's introduction, Hepworth delineated three basic, primal "forms" with which she created her sculptures.

Firstly, Hepworth utilized the single vertical form representing "the human figure standing in landscape." Second, she positioned two forms next to each other which evoke "the tender relationship of one entity to another." Last in her repertoire was the "closed form" which could be oval, spherical or "pierced"- with at least part of the center area being carved to provide empty space. The closed form, for Hepworth, represented "the feeling or the embrace of living things."

Thus defined, Hepworth's procedures are reduced to essential precepts. But that does not mean that there was anything simplistic about her art. These "forms" served as the structural elements for configurations of astonishing variety and integration. 

The intelligence and versatility which Hepworth devoted to her sculptures is evident in Three Forms (1935), where even the shadows cast by the egg-like objects are used to create a powerful sense of presence, and in her starkly-moving model  for a monument to the anti-Fascist forces fighting in the Spanish Civil War.

Barbara Hepworth's sculpture record for Three Forms (1935) and Project - Monument to the Spanish War (1938-39)

Hepworth's focus on these basic forms began during her Edwardian childhood. Her father was County Surveyor, one of the first government officials in Yorkshire to travel by automobile in the course of his duties. His daughter often accompanied him on these "motoring" expeditions.

As the Hepworths, father and daughter, traveled along in these rural "rides," the young Barbara caught sight of rocky outcrops, some of monumental size. Such "crags" thrusting from the rolling surface of the Yorkshire moors had inspired the epic novels of the Brontë sisters, only a few decades earlier.

Hepworth's artistic talent and her parents' enlightened attitude to female education enabled her to kindle the creative spark from these early journeys.  Clayton relates how the precocious Hepworth benefited from a steady infusion of guidance, encouragement and support as she progressed through the levels of British art education. Hepworth's dedication to her craft was duly rewarded in 1921 when she was accepted into the Royal Academy of Art.

Barbara Hepworth (center) with fellow students 
at the Royal College of Art, London, c. 1921–23

As this beautifully-illustrated biography reveals, Hepworth was accomplished in drawing and watercolor by her late teens. However, she chose sculpture as her primary artistic medium. Working in stone and wood, (often rare hardwoods which are a challenge to even veteran sculptors), Hepworth quickly demonstrated a level of mastery rivaling that of her fellow Yorkshireman (and close friend), Henry Moore.

From very early in her career, Hepworth was drawn to avant garde circles in Britain, notably the Unit One group, founded in 1933. The name was unintentionally ironic, as only one exhibition was mounted by the short-lived band of modernists.

To be fair to the young artists involved, their joint exhibit did travel around Britain, after showing in London. Yet, it was the companion book to the exhibition which insured that Unit One would be heard and remembered. Each of the contributing painters and sculptors was responsible for an artist's statement. Hepworth rose to the challenge. Her essay revealed impressive writing ability which brilliantly explained her work ethic, practical and visionary in equal measure:

Carving is interrelated masses conveying an emotion; a perfect relationship between the mind and the colour, light and weight which is the stone, made by the hand which feels. It must be so essentially sculpture that it can exist in no other way, something completely the right size but which has growth, something still and yet having movement, so very quiet and yet with a real vitality.

By the time that Hepworth submitted her Unit One essay, she had moved from evoking the human figure in almost spiritual manifestations to experiments in Abstraction. These might be sculpted "biomorphic" forms or  carved oval 'hemispheres" pierced with glaring, eye-like holes with which Hepworth affirmed that vision "is the perception of the mind."

If body and soul kept emerging from Hepworth's sculptures, regardless of their forms and shapes, so too did the natural world assert itself in her work. The landscape and the sea made their presence felt, especially after Hepworth relocated to St. Ives in Cornwall with her children to escape the bombing of London during World War II.

Barbara Hepworth carving outside Chy-an-Kerris, 
Carbis Bay, Cornwall, 1948

 As noted, Hepworth was skillful in articulating her views on art. It might, therefore, be expected that she would also write essays rebelling against the male "patriarchy" of art officialdom and press reviewers. She certainly resented the patronizing comments about the "little woman who sculpts" which appeared in art reviews, especially in the early, prewar years. Yet, Hepworth responded with quite determination by producing an astonishing body of work, rather than polemical tracts.

In this outstanding biography, Eleanor Clayton balences her commentary on Hepworth's art with telling insight into her private life. Hepworth was married twice, to artists John Skeaping and Ben Nicolson. Both marriages ended in divorce but she remained on good terms with both Skeaping and Nicolson. And through years of war and rationing, she managed to raise four children, a son by Skeaping and a set of triplets by Nicolson.

One of the triplets, Sarah, was frequently ill during her childhood, with Hepworth spending much time in doctor's offices and hospitals. By 1947, her own health began to break down under the relentless strain and the onset of rhematism, an "occupational" bane of sculptors. In a remarkable "gift" of adversity, Hepworth was offered the opportunity to observe an operation by her daughter's surgeon.

The result was a series of stunning sketches and paintings of medical procedures, executed in 1947-1948. Apart from the fact that Hepworth was able to continue working while recuperating from her own ailments, she was able to represent the ideals of her primal, sculptural forms in linear fashion. 

Barbara Hepworth, Tibia Graft (1949)

In masterful works like Tibia Graft, our attention is almost entirely drawn to the eyes and hands of the doctors and nurses whom Hepworth so carefully observed.

Whether creating an Abstract sculpture or recording the intense focus of a surgeon's eyes, Hepworth embraced both carefully-defined form and a sense of the infinite potential of human beings. Clayton certainly does justice to Hepworth's artistic ability and the spiritual, humane values which underpinned Hepworth's life and work.

That being said, there is a difficulty in making a detailed appraisal of Hepworth's actual works of art, especially for American art lovers. The overwhelming majority of Hepworth's creative output is housed in British museums, chiefly Hepworth Wakefield and her studio at St. Ives, now part of the Tate Museum network. Also, international exhibitions of sculpture are much more difficult to mount than those devoted to paintings and works on paper.

Some of the major U.S. museums do have works by Hepworth in their collections, though rarely displaying more than one or two at the same time. As I read Clayton's superb biography, I was fortunate in being able to visit the Rodin Museum in Philadelphia, which is affiliated with the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Currently on view at the Rodin is Hepworth's 1956 bronze entitled Involute.

Anne Lloyd, Photo (2021) Barbara Hepworth, Involute (1956)
at the Rodin Museum, Philadelphia

If only one of Hepworth's art works is available for close study, Involute is a very good example, indeed.  The term "involute" refers to a spiral curve. Involute exemplifies Hepworth's "closed form" which represents "the feeling or the embrace of living things." Any number of objects or emotions can be associated with Involute, a mollusk's shell, the billowing waves of the ocean near to her studio in St. Ives or the merging together of kindred souls.

Also noteworthy of the Involute form is that Hepworth used and reused it in different media, sculpted stone in 1946 and several bronze versions in subsequent years. The Rodin Museum's Involute was created by making a cast of an armature consisting of a folded sheet of aluminum covered with plaster.

Hepworth, of course, need studio assistants to created such works. but once again, she made a virtue of necessity. This enabled her to "go big" with casts of her work, notably the memorial to Dag Hammerskjold, the Secretary General of the United Nations who was killed in a plane crash while trying to restore peace during the Congo civil strife in 1962.

Hammerskjold had been close friend of Hepworth's and his death was a shocking blow. This was in no small part because it compounded the terrible effect of the 1953 death of Hepworth's son, Paul Skeaping, killed in an air accident while serving in the Royal Air Force. And little could she know that her life would end in a tragic accident, a studio fire in 1975.

Barbara Hepworth with the plaster Single Form  
at the Morris Singer Foundry, May 1963

Hepworth's monumental tribute to Hammerskjold has been on display in front of the United Nations headquarters in New York since its unveiling in 1964. Seeing Hepworth "dwarfed" next to the plaster prototype for the bronze cast of Single Form (Memorial) is unsettling. She herself was dubious about the size, especially as Hammerskjold, a deeply sensitive man had rejected "all that might veer towards the grandiose and pompous."

Never-the-less, Single Form (Memorial) is a moving and appropriate work of art. You have to arch you back a bit to focus on the entire expanse of the bronze surface. The irregular, "biomorphic" form with its circular opening, its eye, gives it a human feeling, with a touch of god's grandeur.

Single Form (Memorial) drew inspiration from each of the primal forms which Hepworth used throughout her long, productive career. The first, "the human figure standing in landscape" and the third, the "closed form" pierced by an opening in the surface, are obvious.

The second form is particularly important, though it may take sometime to grasp. There are in fact two forms here, two beings, two "entities" in a tender relationship. Who are they? It is the viewer beholding the mighty work and the spirit of the great artist who created it, resonating from within.

The same sense of communion is very much a part of the reading experience of Barbara Hepworth: Art and Life. Eleanor Clayton has summoned Hepworth back to life - and her presence lingers like the sensation of "the embrace of living things."


Text: Copyright of Ed Voves, all rights reserved.

Barbara Hepworth: Art & Life is published to accompany a major exhibition at The Hepworth Wakefield from May 21, 2021 through February 27, 2022.

Book cover image Courtesy of Thames & Hudson

Introductory Image: Barbara Hepworth with The Cosdon Head, 1949 The Hepworth Photograph Collection Courtesy Bowness Photograph: Hans Wild

Installation image of Barbara Hepworth: Art & Life at The Hepworth Wakefield, 2021. Photograph by Lewis Ronald Plastiques

Barbara Hepworth (center) studying on a Yorkshire Senior County Art Scholarship, with fellow students at the Royal College of Art, London, c. 1921–23 The Hepworth Photograph Collection Courtesy Bowness

Barbara Hepworth’s sculpture record for Three Forms (1935) Gift to The Hepworth Wakefield from the Hepworth Estate, 2013 Photograph: Barbara Hepworth © Bowness

Barbara Hepworth, Project – Monument to the Spanish War (1938–39) Photograph: Barbara Hepworth © Bowness 

Barbara Hepworth, Tibia Graft (1949) Wakefield Permanent Art Collection Purchased by Wakefield Corporation, 1951) © Bowness Photograph: Jerry Hardman-Jones

Anne Lloyd, Photo (20200 Barbara Hepworth's Involute (1956) at the Rodin Museum, Philadelphia.

Barbara Hepworth with the plaster Single Form at the Morris Singer Foundry, May 1963 The Hepworth Photograph Collection  Courtesy Bowness Photograph: Morgan Wells