The English Modernist Sculptor Writes to the Curator of the Dutch Kröller-Müller Museum

Signed by Barbara Hepworth

Item: 20720
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HEPWORTH, BARBARA. (1903-1975). English Modernist sculptor. TLS. (“Barbara Hepworth”). 1p. 4to. St. Ives, Cornwall, August 20, 1974. On her personal (“Dame Barbara Hepworth”) stationery. To Dutch art historian PAUL HEFTING (1933-2018).

I was so terribly sad not to be able to get a note off to you at Bude, and to see you. My studio was closed up and my staff away and I was not able to arrange for a visit. This was all very sad; but my son-in-law Alan Bowness has just been telling me all about you. Please give my love to Rudi Oxenaar and Ellen Joosten. I think so often about the museum and the grounds and my happy time in Holland. Did the Marlborough Gallery send the museum a copy of my New York catalogue? I very much hope so. The exhibition was a great success…”

Both a friend and rival of Henry Moore, Hepworth made a name for herself in the male-dominated world of sculpture. She was a runner up for the Prix-de-Rome, and, after immersing herself in abstract sculpture and the Paris Abstration-Création movement, she co-founded the British Unit One art movement in an effort to bring together surrealism and abstraction. She relocated to Cornwall and joined the St Ives artists’ colony at the outbreak of World War II. In 1965, she was made a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire.

British art historian and museum director Alan Bowness (b. 1928) married Hepworth’s daughter Sarah and served as her executor after the sculptor’s death. He has served as director of London’s Tate Gallery and the Henry Moore Foundation.

Hefting was a Dutch art historian who wrote prolifically on the subject of Dutch graphic design. For 15 years Hefting produced exhibitions and catalogues for the Dutch Kröller-Müller Museum, under the direction of Rudi Oxenaar (1925-2005) and Ellen Joosten (?-?), both of whom authored a number of works of art criticism. Oxenaar also oversaw the museum’s purchase of eight of Hepworth’s sculptures, installed in its Rietveld Pavilion sculpture garden around 1965, as well as several additional Hepworth sculptures inside the museum. The Kröller-Müller hosted a major retrospective of Hepworth’s work in 2015.

Boldly signed and in very fine condition.

The English Modernist Sculptor Writes to the Curator of the Dutch Kröller-Müller Museum

Signed by Barbara Hepworth

$250 • item #20720

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