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University of Hertfordshire sculpture “Vertical Forms” by Barbara Hepworth removed for exhibition

Updated: May 7, 2021

By Chloe Olivia Sladden

A sculpture by leading artist Barbara Hepworth from the 20th century has not been removed since its 1952 creation and has been taken to the St Albans museum for a new exhibition according to a BBC article.

It will come back to a new internal space at Hertfordshire University, to stop any more weathering on the art.

Barbara Hepworth’s work was embedded within a façade in 1952 and “painstakingly conserved”, according to the university.

The Hepworth works will be displayed at the museum for six months, these works will be seen together for the first time since their creation in her St Ives studio in Cornwall.

This will range from sculptures, archive-materials and drawings from 1948-1953, as the Hepworth and Hertfordshire connection was developed.

Annabel Lucas, Co-curator and head of UHArts at Hertfordshire University, has said (1948-1953) was a “short yet significant period” in the life of Hepworth, as she became combined to produce public artworks for the county.

“She had her first publication, the first film of her was made, she did her first theatre design and she took on public commissions”.

“This is a real opportunity. There’s a story to tell and artwork to share with local relevance and national significance”.

The “Vertical Forms” art was commissioned from 1951 for the new college “Hatfield Technical” as part of the policy, from the county council, to dedicate a percentage of the council’s budget towards art.

Another art on display, is “Eocene”, a sculpture brought by Hertfordshire Schools Collection, that recently displayed in St Albans Girls School.

Annabel Lucas added that “the county council’s policy brought real art into the lives of children so this exhibition continues the ethos – we want to share the best outstanding art in Hertfordshire with free access”.

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