Barbara Hepworth's former studio given Grade II listed status

A former cinema and dance hall that later became an important studio of internationally renowned Yorkshire artist Dame Barbara Hepworth has been given listed status.

Although born and raised in Wakefield, Hepworth went on to spend much of her life in Cornwall, where she bought the Palais de Dance in St Ives in 1961, to use as a studio and workshop.

Now, on the 45th anniversary of her death, the studio has received a Grade II listing by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport on the recommendation of Historic England.

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There she worked on the prototypes for some of her most prestigious public commissions, including the famous Single Form for the UN building in New York.

Dame Barbara Hepworth's studio and workshop in St Ives, Cornwall, which has received Grade II listing by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport. Picture: PA

The property was originally built in the 18th century as a stone cottage, before being used as a navigation school.

In 1910 it was converted into a cinema and in 1925 became a dance hall - known as the Palais de Danse. Hepworth had moved from London to Carbis Bay with her husband Ben Nicholson in 1939.

With her growing reputation after the war, and demand for more work, she bought Trewyn studio in St Ives in 1949.

This became her home until her death in 1975, and is now the Barbara Hepworth Museum.

Dame Barbara Hepworth carving in the Palais de Danse in 1961, the studio and workshop in St Ives, Cornwall. Picture: PA

After she died on May 20 1975, the Palais de Danse remained in her family and the building was bequeathed to Tate in 2015.

The Tate St Ives art gallery is currently managing the conservation of the building and its contents, with a view to safeguarding Hepworth’s legacy and its future.

Heritage minister Nigel Huddleston said: “Barbara Hepworth is one of the nation’s most highly regarded sculptors of her generation and this listing recognises her long-lasting connection to St Ives.

"It is a fitting tribute, on the 45th anniversary of her death, to preserve the unique site where she created some of her most famous works.”

Rebecca Barrett, from Historic England, added: “We are delighted that the Palais de Danse has been listed in recognition of its importance to the life and work of Dame Barbara Hepworth and to the artistic tradition in St Ives.

“The Palais is a rare survival of a creative space left largely undisturbed since the artist’s death and provides a unique insight into Hepworth’s creative process. Listing celebrates the building’s special qualities and ensures any future changes respect them.”

In addition to the Barbara Hepworth Museum in St Ives, the sculptor is remembered in her home city by The Hepworth Wakefield, which opened in 2011 and features models donated by her family as well as temporary exhibitions of contemporary art.

It also includes works by fellow famous Yorkshire sculptor Henry Moore, who Hepworth met when they both studied at the Leeds School of Art.

A year after opening, The Hepworth Wakefield was named ‘Regional Building of the Year’ by the Royal Institute of British Architects and in July 2017 it was named the UK’s Museum of the Year.

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