Archives are integral to our understanding of artists and their work. We can delve into known records again and again, find out new things or reinterpret documentation which continues to enrich our knowledge in various ways. We can find out more, not only about the artist’s public standing and reception but also their personal lives which often remain private or hidden during their lifetime. Archives can often provide a link between the artist and the work, providing a documentary narrative which itself is fascinating.
Presented here are a selection of documents from collections held at Tate Archives and The National Archives 1 which reveals different aspects of the personal and professional life of Barbara Hepworth.
Tate Archive: Barbara Hepworth’s personal life – Morwenna Roche
The Tate Archive has recently finished the project of cataloguing Barbara Hepworth’s papers (generously funded by Tate Members and the Estate of Barbara Hepworth), which provide a fascinating and rich insight into her life and work.
The papers were neatly divided into two collections: Correspondence of Barbara Hepworth (TGA 965) and The remaining personal papers of Barbara Hepworth (TGA 20132). Together these two collections provide a fascinating and rich insight into the personal and professional life of the sculptor, particularly from the 1940s onwards.
- 1. Records related to Barbara Hepworth are scattered in various archives. ^