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The Hepworth Wakefield

  • Date: 6 April 2011
  • Artform: Visual arts
  • Area: North
building with river in front The Hepworth Wakefield by David Chipperfield Architects, Iwan Baan

The Hepworth Wakefield, a new world-class centre for the visual arts in Yorkshire, opened its doors to the public on Saturday 21 May 2011. The organisation will be part of the Arts Council's national portfolio and will receive investment of £900,000 per year from 2012/13.

The new arts space - designed by David Chipperfield Architects and the largest purpose built gallery outside London - houses over 40 works by the gallery's namesake: Wakefield-born artist Barbara Hepworth. Along with Wakefield's nationally important art collection, spanning the 16th century to the present day, this unique collection, gifted by the Hepworth Estate, celebrates the legacy of the renowned sculptor.

Simon Wallis, Director, said: 'We are proud to present the work of Barbara Hepworth, a daughter of this city, in this superbly designed gallery and to develop an international centre for the visual arts, which will attract artists and visitors from all over the world.' 

The Hepworth Wakefield also runs an ambitious programme of contemporary exhibitions - the first featuring the work of sculptor Eva Rothschild, and activities and events including artist commissions and talks.

Arts Council England invested £5 million from the National Lottery in the £35 million gallery, which joins Yorkshire Sculpture Park, Henry Moore Institute and Leeds City Art Gallery, and secures Yorkshire's reputation as a leading destination for sculpture.

The Hepworth Wakefield, which houses 10 gallery spaces, learning studios, an auditorium, an archive and restaurant, café and shop, is part of the £100 million regeneration of Waterfront Wakefield.

Wakefield Council has led the development of gallery with co-funding partners Arts Council England, with major funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund, Yorkshire Forward, Homes and Communities Agency, and the European Regional Development Fund.

Find out more about visual arts in Arts Council's new national portfolio.