The Child's Hand

Barbara Hepworth, English, 1903 - 1975


Graphite and blue and bluish-green washes with traces of blue colored pencil on gesso ground on wood panel

Other (panel): 12 1/2 x 14 9/16 x 1/8 inches (31.8 x 37 x 0.3 cm)

© Bowness

Curatorial Department:
Prints, Drawings, and Photographs

Object Location:

Currently not on view

Accession Number:

Credit Line:
Purchased with the Katharine Levin Farrell Fund and the SmithKline Beecham Corporation Fund for the Ars Medica Collection, 2003

Social Tags [?]

doctors [x]   hospital [x]   operation [x]   surgery [x]  

[Add Your Own Tags]

British sculptor Barbara Hepworth is better known for abstract works in stone, wood, and bronze than for representational figurative drawings. In 1947 she was invited by a surgeon friend to watch operations at the Princess Elizabeth Orthopaedic Hospital in Exeter, where she was also allowed to sketch; she continued to sketch in other operating theaters in Exeter and London through the early 1950s. Hepworth later wrote that she was fascinated by the way that the human beings involved in an operation-with their unity of purpose, concentration, and coordinated movements-induced spontaneous and beautiful compositions in space that coincided with the kind of articulation and animation she had been seeking in her own abstract sculptures.