Dame Barbara’s hospital drawings to be exhibited at Hepworth Wakefield


DRAWINGS of doctors at work by artist Barbara Hepworth are set to go on show at the city art gallery named after her.

The exhibition, which will be displayed for the first time at Hepworth Wakefield from October 27-February 3, features drawings and paintings of scenes from operating theatres in post-war Britain.

After her daughter Sarah was hospitalised in 1944, Barbara Hepworth and her husband, the artist Ben Nicholson, struck up a friendship with Norman Capener, the surgeon who treated Sarah at Princess Elizabeth Orthopaedic Hospital in Exeter.

Hepworth was invited to witness a variety of surgical procedures at the hospital and over a two-year period, 1947-1949, and produced around 80 works in pencil, ink, chalk and oils.

Frances Guy, head of collections and exhibitions for Hepworth Wakefield, said: “Executed shortly after the end of the Second World War, the Hospital Drawings series shows Hepworth rediscovering the role of figure drawing as a means of developing sculptural ideas at a time when materials and funds were in short supply.

“We are hugely proud to be the first venue to present this exhibition and illuminate this different aspect of her art.”