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“First visit, won't be the last.”

The Hepworth Wakefield
Ranked #8 of 33 things to do in Wakefield
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: The Hepworth Wakefield is Yorkshire's award-winning gallery designed by David Chipperfield Architects which opened to the public in May 2011. The UK's largest purpose-built gallery in over 50 years, we celebrate the achievements of one of Britain's most significant sculptors, Barbara Hepworth, in the city in which she was born and raised. As well as the Hepworth Family Gift, a unique collection of Hepworth's working models gifted to Wakefield through the Art Fund, the gallery also holds the collection of the former Wakefield Art Gallery. Alongside collection displays, we also present a regularly changing programme of contemporary exhibitions by world-renowned artists as well as offering award-winning family and learning activities for all ages, a cafe bar and shop - a perfect day out for all the family. Free admission all year round.
Reviewed July 14, 2013

This was our first visit, it is lovely. Very welcoming place. Staff are lovely, the food is lovely, the exhibitions are fantastic, the building is impressive.

It is new, although they are expanding to another building next door later this summer. There are around 10 galleries and there was a great mix of subject. Very relaxed walking around. You actually feel you are interacting with the exhibits, with the building and with its surroundings. The windows look out on to a weir, it has huge windows were we could watch the fishermen below.

Looking forward to going again, perhaps catch a lecture next time. The people visiting seemed to be really enjoying themselves, there were children running around producing music, or drawing, it seemed everyone was interacting with the building and its contents. Great atmosphere. Looking forward to going again

1  Thank weekender2280
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed July 1, 2013

The Hepworth Wakefield has a well-rounded collection that will please those who like traditional paintings where you can see each brush stroke, intricate and jarring post-modern sculpture, the harshness of electric art, abstract and stylised still life paintings by William Scott and a selection of Hepworth's craft. Selected pieces from the York Art Gallery and Tate are on loan. For those worried that this is another 'Margate Turner Centre' concrete shell filled with little interest or relevance to the namesake, think again.

Highlights for me included the small candlelight painting 'Eventide' by Mark Senior, the contrasts of femininity in James Tissot's work, the vast painting of Wakefield's Chantry Chapel and bridge, the uncomfortable forms and uneasiness of the Post-War British Sculpture and Painting collection and the journey of Hepworth's work from drawing, to small-scale prototypes, to final piece. The majority of pieces have explanatory text in addition to artist details and each gallery has a clearly written introduction on the entrance wall (which also indicates whether photography is permitted or not in that room).

For the building itself, the architecture on the outside is bold and a fascinating contrast against the water beneath and the willows to the side, and inside the light fills the spaces from careful design of skylights and reflecting walls. In certain gallery rooms you can stand in the windows looking down onto the rushing weir below. The facilities are good, with very clean and smart toilets, locker facilities, a large atrium, seating in most gallery spaces and portable seats available, stylish cafe and shop (with some great gift ideas).

We visited The Hepworth Wakefield by train walking from Wakefield Westgate station through town (allow 25 mins), though Wakefield Kirkgate train station is only 5-10 mins away if that line suits you. We spent a little under 2 hours at The Hepworth, which allowed us time to view all the galleries at a leisurely pace (did not visit the cafe at this visit, but will in future!).

2  Thank theallknowingduck
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 25, 2013

A visit to the Hepworth was our main reason for coming to Wakefield and we were not disappointed. The building is quite striking and wonderfully light once you are inside. The staff were friendly and knowledgeable and the cake in the cafe was excellent. We went there twice and on our first visit on Friday afternoon it was not very busy, we returned on Saturday afternoon and it was much busier but still a very enjoyable experience..The gallery is part of the Yorkshire Sculpture triangle along with the nearby Yorkshire Sculpture Park, the Leeds City art gallery and Henry Moore Institute in Leeds. We managed all four by public transport on a recent three day stay. All in all a great experience.

1  Thank Maggie22_10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 15, 2013

The architect is worth the visit alone. This is a fantastic gallery which the architecture enhances with a wonderful use of space and light. I would strongly recommend a visit. The gallery cafe was really good as well - one of the best ploughman lunches I have had for some time with a piece of iced pistachhio cake - scrumptious.

1  Thank NABAVEY
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed June 1, 2013

This gallery was easy to find from the M62, and parking was near. As others have said, it was £4.50 to park, but the gallery is free! The building is superb, modern and set beautifully next to the old canal docks and river. The children's play area is excellent too. We started in the cafe, which was clean, tidy and served excellent food. The artworks are beautiful, and the Hepworth sculptures and lithographs are particularly inspiring. It is just a pity you cannot touch them as they are so tactile.

2  Thank GoalieBeverley
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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