Unsupported browser

For a better experience please update your browser to its latest version.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We use cookies to personalise your experience; learn more in our Privacy and Cookie Policy. You can opt out of some cookies by adjusting your browser settings; see the cookie policy for details. By using this site, you agree to our use of cookies.

Sculptor Barbara Hepworth’s St Ives studio listed

  • Comment

Ministers have granted heritage protection to an 18th-century cottage in Cornwall later used as a studio by renowned sculptor Barbara Hepworth

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport agreed with Historic England advice in awarding Grade II-listed status to the building in St Ives, known as the Palais de Danse.

Hepworth bought the building – previously a home, a navigation school, a cinema and then a dance hall – in the early 1960s. She worked on many famous scultpures in the workshop, including Single Form, which is displayed at the United Nations building in New York.

Historic England said Hepworth’s creative process could still be read in the fabric of the Palais’ rooms. For example, the silhouette of a grid she laid out to create the plaster prototype for Single Form, her largest work and most significant public commission, still survives on the floor of the upper workshop.

The 6.4m tall Single Form was Hepworth’s personal response to the death of her friend, UN secretary-general Dag Hammarskjöld, in a plane crash on a peace mission to the Congo.

Single form 1961 4 at the united nations secretariat, new york, 11 june 1964

Single Form at the United Nations Secretariat, New York, 11 June 1964

Single Form at the United Nations Secretariat, New York, 11 June 1964

Hepworth herself died in a fire at Trewyn Studio, also in St Ives, on 20 May 1975, aged 72.

The Palais de Danse was bequeathed to Tate in 2015 and is being conserved by Tate St Ives with a view to safeguarding Hepworth’s legacy and the building’s 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.’

Historic England regional director for the South West Rebecca Barrett 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 the very early 1800s, shortly after it was built, the house was occupied by Josiah Sincock, part-owner of the merchant brig Friendship that was captured by the French off the Kent coast during the Napoleonic Wars.

Historic England said the building retained the ’fabric, plan form and features’ representing its major 20th-century uses.

  • Comment

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions.

Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.