Barbara Hepworth: The Sculptor in the Studio is the first study devoted to Hepworth’s St Ives studio in which the centrality of Trewyn Studio and garden to her art and life is brought to the fore. ‘It affects my whole life & work most profoundly’, she wrote to a friend in 1949 shortly before acquiring it. A history and a portrait of a unique place, the book illuminates the ways in which the place and the work are bound together.
It explores Hepworth’s working environment and the development of her practice over a period of 25 years. The studio, and especially the garden that Hepworth shaped, was the primary and ideal context in which her sculptures were viewed. Following Hepworth’s death in 1975, Trewyn Studio was opened as the Barbara Hepworth Museum and Sculpture Garden, fulfilling the hopes she had expressed at the end of her life.
The adaptation of Hepworth’s studio-home to create the Museum is examined in detail. The Museum was given to the Tate Gallery in 1980, becoming the first of Tate’s outstations and helping to lay the foundations for Tate St Ives. It contains the largest group of Hepworth’s works, permanently on display in the place in which they were created.
Here the visitor is closest to Hepworth’s work and to the sources of her inspiration.