Monday, 30 November 2015

Family outing to the Hepworth, Wakefield

Barbara Hepworth
As the kids had a few days off school so the teachers could be trained, we headed south for the weekend to visit family.  This, amazingly, fitted in well with some great exhibitions, and for once, it was a coincidence rather than careful scheming on my part.
Cool Moon by Barbara Hepworth
I’ll be writing more about the Bowes Museum and the Pauline Burbidge exhibition later, which were both fab.  They were our first stop on Saturday morning.  After lunch, the youngest and I had a lovely afternoon at the Knitting & Stitching Show in Harrogate.  She enjoyed the exhibitions and shopped with great determination, given a very limited budget!  And yes, I bought some bits too.
Barbara Hepworth.  My photo doesn't do justice to the beautiful, intense blue colour
Sunday, we had an entire family outing to the Hepworth, in Wakefield. We all really enjoyed it from the oldest to the youngest as well as us in-between.  The building was amazing and had lovely vistas out over the seriously fast flowing river – we were glad to be inside as the weather outside was foul! 
View from the Hepworth
The Gallery has a mixture of Barbara Hepworth sculpture and contemporary art.  It also gives an insight into Hepworth’s working methods, including her tools, some technical drawings and lots of maquettes.  There were some drawers which displayed some of her personal inspirations and I was thrilled to discover a Cycladic figure amongst them – can’t go anywhere without seeing them! 
Barbara Hepworth's Cycladic figure
The cafe was rather good and there was a fantastic, free family activity pack.  If you are there without kids, I suggest you pretend you have some with you as it was a well thought-out guide to looking at and interpreting the work in a personal manner.
Hepworth - the building framed some of the work beautifully
As you can guess, I found it all very inspiring.  It was worth the hideous drive back through torrential rain and driving snow.  I was desperate to do some sketching, but my sketchbook (and camera) got stolen by the younger members of our group as they were either inspired or bored and looking to entertain themselves while the adults enjoyed the art.  These are the sketches by the oldest, who is 13 

and the youngest who is 8.  

The middle one spent his time photographing, especially making panoramas.  This was his favourite - he liked the dark and light in it.

Our next family outing to museums will be an exciting trip to London.  Any recommendations for family friendly museums?

Barbara Hepworth - Olympus


Margaret Cooter said...

Family friendly museums ... try the Grant Museum of Zoology. Skeletons, and things in jars - lots to look at and talk about. They have various activities for various ages, and are very welcoming. Not a huge place - not too long ago it relocated to the old medical library of UCL.
Open 1-5, including Saturday; nearest tube Warren Street.

Or perhaps the Imperial War Museum - machines downstairs, art upstairs. Recently renovated, now rather multimedia. Busy at weekends.

The Wallace Collection? I love the various ticks of the clocks, and the delicate china, and elaborate inlaid furniture. Downstairs, a discovery room where you can try on chain mail etc, and a display of how things are made. Paintings upstairs. And armour! including two horses in armour. Restaurant is pricey but elegant; Marylebone High Street is just round the corner with a range of eateries.

Gillian Cooper said...

Thanks Margaret. You managed to come up with three museums I haven't visited in London. Hopefully we will get time to explore them when we are down and maybe get the kids doing a bit more drawing. I intend to remember their sketchbook this time so I can keep mine!

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