Two Barbara Hepworth works raise funds for school

Two works from Barbara Hepworth's old school sold at Sotheby's London on June 13.

The highlight was Quiet Form (1973), which was originally commissioned by the school board as a gift for a departing head teacher.

Barbara Hepworth school
The school sold the works due to the increased costs of security and insurance

It sold for £1.8m ($2.5m).

The other, Forms in Movement - bought by the school for the opening of its gymnasium in 1956, made £365,000 ($517,807).

Hepworth was encouraged to develop her artistic leanings at Wakefield Girl's High School and left in 1920 to pursue a scholarship at Leeds School of Art.

John McLeod, a spokesman for the school's board of governors, explained the reasoning behind the sale: "As Hepworth's market prices have rocketed, so have the costs of insurance and security.

"While this means that it is hard to justify devoting valuable—and limited—school resources to insurance costs, it also means that we have the unexpected opportunity to release significant funds, which can be used to afford other students just the kind of special opportunities Barbara Hepworth enjoyed through bursaries."

Hepworth's work has grown significantly in value over the last few years, as Frances Christie, Sotheby's head of modern & post-war British art, commented. "Hepworth is the only British female artist to have two galleries dedicated to her, and following a hugely successful retrospective at the Tate Britain last year, the appetite for the very best examples of her work has never been stronger," she said.

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