Rachel Smith: ‘I looked over and over again’: Connecting Barbara Hepworth’s early life and work

Becoming Henry Moore: Symposium

This paper will consider the critical history of Hepworth’s early life and work, and focus on methodological approaches which can help to strengthen understanding of the relevance of Hepworth’s formative years of inspiration and education, and of the connections and differences between a number of artists under discussion. Starting with the later reflections by Hepworth and those around her on the years before 1930, it will explore where else the reflections and existing knowledge on this period characterised by opportunity to travel and time for self-discovery might lead.

Rachel Rose Smith is a curator, researcher and lecturer from mid-Cornwall, based in London. Her MA thesis on Hepworth and phenomenology (Tate Papers, no.20) led to an AHRC-funded collaborative doctoral project ‘Modern Art Movements and St Ives 1939-49’ (University of York and Tate, 2015). She was co-curator of ‘International Exchanges: Modern Art and St Ives 1915-65’ (Tate St Ives, 1914), then Bye-Fellow and Curator of the Heong Gallery at Downing College, Cambridge (2015-16), where she remains an Affiliate Lecturer. She is currently Assistant Curator of Modern British Art at Tate Britain.

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