On Thursday evening, the River & Rowing Museum celebrated the exciting opening of their new Barbara Hepworth exhibition. The gallery, Barbara Hepworth: Finding Form, features a selection of artwork by one of the UK’s most popular sculptors. A lucky group of guests were invited to view the display before its grand public unveil today (9 February).
Nearly 150 people gathered at the museum after hours to see Barbara Hepworth’s sculptures in their new home. Eager to view the new instillation, the fortunate attendees were chosen from various different communities, including the Henley 100 club, local artists and creatives, the rowing community, museum trustees, and the museum’s partnerships from Henley and beyond. The Hepworth gallery marks a first for the town — the sculptor’s work has never before been exhibited in Henley. Exploring Hepworth’s sculptures from the 1930s to the 1960s, the display highlights the artist’s lifelong preoccupation with forms, from the human body to the landscapes in which they were made.
David Worthington, Chair of the River & Rowing Museum, stated, “I am very proud that we are bringing the internationally renowned work of Barbara Hepworth to Henley for the first time. One of Britain’s most important 20th Century artists, her extraordinary sculptures perfectly complement the work on display in the Museum’s John Piper gallery. We will be encouraging the local community to get involved through a series of innovative events, lectures and workshops, bringing the exhibition to life for families and adults alike.” Natalie Patel, Head of Collections & Exhibitions, was equally excited. “I am thrilled that we are bringing Barbara Hepworth’s extraordinary sculptures to Henley,” she commented. “We wanted to make a Fine Art exhibition that is accessible to all – and have brought together sensory interactives our visitors can use to explore Hepworth’s artworks though sight, sound and touch. Visitors will be able to touch the materials Hepworth worked with, play musical instruments, and sketch to their heart’s content. “
There will be a variety of family orientated events to accompany the exhibition, including free admission for families on the opening weekend (10th & 11th February). “We want to show how art can come alive and connect with families,” Marketing Assistant Claire Woods enthused. “It’s accessible to all — anyone at any age can enjoy it.” The exhibition will run until 3 June. Visit the River & Rowing Museum to enjoy this fantastic display of world class art!