Home Buzz News How Barbara Hepworth Became a Modern Master of Sculpture

How Barbara Hepworth Became a Modern Master of Sculpture

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In 1947, two years after the war ended, she initiated her lauded series “Hospital Drawings” (1947–49), which features surgical procedures. Filled with light, color, and soft pencil marks, they offer an antidote to ’s famous, gory Gross Clinic (1875).

Hepworth enjoyed major acclaim towards the end of her life. In 1965, she became a dame and the Tate’s first female trustee. Three years later, the preeminent museum granted her a major retrospective.

While Hepworth continued to sculpt, her body was breaking down. She was afflicted with tongue cancer and suffered from mobility problems. In 1975, she fell asleep while smoking a cigarette at her Trewyn studio in St Ives. The building burned, and Hepworth died inside.



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