Leeds & West Yorkshire

Wakefield's Hepworth gallery celebrates fifth anniversary

Hepworth Wakefield
Image caption The Hepworth Wakefield was designed by architect David Chipperfield

A £35m art gallery built to highlight the work of sculptor Dame Barbara Hepworth, among other exhibits, is celebrating its fifth anniversary.

The Hepworth Wakefield gallery opened in May 2011 and is named after the artist, who was born in the West Yorkshire city in 1903.

The gallery has had more than one-and-a-half million visitors in five years.

David Liddiment, of the Hepworth, said he was "immensely proud of what has been achieved at the gallery".

Image caption The gallery says it has contributed more than £20m to the local economy

Mr Liddiment, who is chair of the Hepworth Wakefield Trust, said the gallery had exceeded all initial expectations to "establish Wakefield as a cultural destination, putting it on the national and international map".

"It's great to see visitors travelling from all parts of the UK and further afield to see the gallery," he said.

It had contributed more than £20m to the local economy, he added.

As part of its birthday celebrations, the gallery previously announced a £30,000 award for UK-based sculptors.

Work by the four shortlisted artists for the first award will go on show at the gallery next October.

Image caption Dame Barbara Hepworth was born in Wakefield in 1903

Hepworth was a contemporary of Castleford-born Henry Moore, with the pair among the most highly regarded sculptors of the 20th Century.

She attended Leeds School of Art in the 1920s and opened her studio in St Ives, Cornwall, in 1949.

The artist and sculptor was made a CBE in the 1958 New Year Honours list and died in a fire at her studio in 1975.

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