Barbara Hepworth was born January 10, 1903 in Wakefield, Yorkshire. Barbara studied art at the Leeds School of Art, and then in 1921 at the Royal College School of Art. She was great friends with Henry Moore and she married fellow sculptor, John Skeaping in 1924. Her marriage to him ended in 1933. She married Ben Nicholson in 1931 and unfortunately her marriage to him ended in 1951. She learned the principle of carving in Rome. Barbara moved to St. Ives, Cornwall in 1939 and founded the Penwith Society in 1949. She became Dame Barbara Hepworth in 1965. Sadly, Barbara died in 1975 when she was trapped in a fire in her studio. Her studio is currently a museum dedicated to her work.
Barbara Hepworth worked in Wakefield, Yorkshire for many years. She then moved to St. Ives, Cornwall where she lived in a beautiful home, and created all of her sculptures and other art work from her own studio. She worked during the 1900's up until her death in 1975. .
Barbara Hepworth was in her prime years of art work in the roaring twenties. She also went through the depression in the thirties. Non-objective art and direct carving was not popular during the time of Barbara Hepworth, and she basically introduced the art community to it. Also, during her time of work, there was WWI and WWII.
When Barbara married John Skeaping in 1924, they traveled to places like Italy and Rome and visited the museums of Brancusi, Braque, Picasso, and Gabo. These artists were influential to her. John's extensive knowledge about sculpting also influenced much of her work. It was during her trips to Paris and Italy that she was introduced to marble carving techniques. In 1934, she abandoned figuration and used nature and the mother and child theme for inspiration. When Barbara moved to St. Ives, the rugged coastline with towering rocks impacted many of her ideas. Her bronze and marble pieces were representative to her life.