Their Majesties The King and Queen visit the Barbara Hepworth Museum and Sculpture Garden

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Their Majesties The King and Queen visit the Barbara Hepworth Museum and Sculpture Garden
Their Majesties The King and Queen with Anne Barlow (Director of Tate St Ives) at the Barbara Hepworth Museum and Sculpture Garden in St Ives, Cornwall. Photo © Guy Martin / Tate.

ST IVES.- To celebrate the 30th anniversary of Tate St Ives, Their Majesties The King and Queen visited the Barbara Hepworth Museum and Sculpture Garden today. They were given a tour of Hepworth’s studio and garden, which is cared for by Tate St Ives, and were introduced to several people who have played important roles in Tate St Ives’s success over the past 30 years.

The visit was hosted by Anne Barlow (Director of Tate St Ives) and Roland Rudd (Chair of Tate). Their Majesties began their visit in Hepworth’s beautiful studio space, filled with some of the artist’s most famous works in wood, bronze, marble and plaster. Dr Sophie Bowness (Barbara Hepworth’s granddaughter) introduced the history of the building, alongside Dame Jayne-Anne Gadhia (Trustee of Tate) and Sir Anthony Salz (Chair of Tate St Ives Advisory Council).

The King and Queen then had a tour of Hepworth’s garden and the many sculptures on display there. Head Gardener Jodi Dickinson, who began his career in horticulture thanks to the support of The Prince’s Trust, described how he has worked to restore the garden to its former glory. Together they planted a penstemon shrub to celebrate the royal visit, and Their Majesties were presented with a gift of some rare seeds from a cineraria which was originally planted by Hepworth herself.

The King met several people with connections to the fascinating artistic history of St Ives. These included Janet Axten (who helped run the campaign to create Tate St Ives in the 1990s), Dell Casdagli (first manager of the Hepworth Museum after Hepworth's death and the longest serving member of the Museum team), Alice Ellis-Bray (artist), Anthony Frost (artist and son of artist Sir Terry Frost who was one of Hepworth's first assistants), Katharine Heron (architect, educator and daughter of artist Patrick Heron), Chris Hibbert (manager of Porthmeor Studios and son of Major Hibbert, founder of Trebah Garden), Bo Hilton (artist and son of artists Roger and Rose Hilton), and Denise Mitchell (daughter of sculptor Denis Mitchell, who was also one of Hepworth’s first assistants).

The Queen met a group of Tate Collective Producers, a network of 15-25 year olds who organise events for young people at Tate St Ives. They discussed some recent workshops they have run in the Hepworth Museum and the success of their work cultivating a new generation of creative and artistic talent in St Ives.

Anne Barlow, Director of Tate St Ives, and Roland Rudd, Chair of Tate, said: “It has been a great honour for us to host this special royal visit to the Barbara Hepworth Museum. St Ives has an incredible artistic legacy spanning many generations, and it was wonderful to give Their Majesties a flavour of the work Tate does to celebrate that legacy and to inspire artists today.”

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