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“Don't sit on the exhibits! ”

The Hepworth Wakefield
Ranked #5 of 42 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.
huddersfield
Level Contributor
103 reviews
31 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 61 helpful votes
“Don't sit on the exhibits! ”
Reviewed 22 August 2014 via mobile

I need to say up-front that I just don't "get" contemporary art! My little boy sat down on one of two chairs that were placed about six feet in front of a suspended sculpture. I assumed the chairs had been placed there for enthusiasts to sit and view and contemplate the sculpture. This little explanation did not amuse the snotty gallery attendant who marched over, asked me to ensure that my son didn't touch the exhibits and gave me a look that screamed "bad parent"!

That said, it was a cheap afternoon out for the whole family. Yes, in isolation car parking is over-priced at £4.50 but admission is free so on balance very reasonable.

The cafe was lovely and served delicious cake and a great Americano. An interesting gift shop stocked items not necessarily available on the high street.

The outdoor play area is fantastic and well maintained.

The views of Wakefield from the huge picture windows are lovely.

On a previous visit we took part in a kids craft session which they absolutely loved.

I don't feel qualified to review the art, but in terms of a place to kill a few hours with a young family, a solid 4 stars

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1 Thank kathryn5489
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Halifax UK
Level Contributor
214 reviews
59 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 96 helpful votes
“Half of Wakefield's Double Whammy”
Reviewed 20 August 2014

Paired with the Yorkshire Sculpture Park, just a few miles away at West Bretton, the Hepworth is not just a tribute act to one of Britain's great sculptors, but offers valuable insights into Barbara Hepworth's techniques and artistic expressions. If you quite like modern abstract sculpture, but don't quite 'get' it, the exhibits here will put you on the right path. The attendants are knowledgeable and helpful, occasionally entertaining, and always on hand. Currently, more than a third of the gallery space is given over to works by the Austrian Franz West, and I can think of no better setting for them or finer juxtaposition with the Hepworth inventory. There is a pleasant cafe bar, and a shop with tasteful gifts and memorabilia. People who whinge about the price of the car park should remember that entry to the museum is free. The same deal applies at West Bretton, a visit to which would complete the Northern sculpture experience. Take a picnic, and an open mind.

Visited August 2014
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2 Thank WalterMHalifaxUK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Dewsbury, United Kingdom
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Empty”
Reviewed 19 August 2014

I thought it looked good from the outset and was quite excited to visit at first. This quickly changed as I was overwhelmed by a strange feeling of dismay and emptiness. I tried hard to explore the unique pieces yet was left feeling sick and in desperation to leave. I found no sense behind many of the 'art pieces' as a lot of them looked as if they could be the aftermath of a child's play. I did enjoy the view of the waterfall and the getaway cafe was appreciated. I think if you are interested in contemporary art of such sort it would be great, but if you are one to question such undefinable art, you may need to think twice.

Visited June 2014
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6 Thank A S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ramsgate, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
26 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
“Worth a Visit”
Reviewed 15 August 2014

The Hepworth is not a bad place to spend a couple of hours.The separate Calder gallery at the Hepworth currently hosts a great interactive exhibition which is a recreation of a 60's artwork by Allan Kaprow. It was lovely to see children having so much fun with old tyres! The industrial gallery space seemed particularly appropriate for the work. The Franz West exhibition in the main building was just too much of a good thing for me. It made me realise I can appreciate his work best as single pieces; en masse it can all seem a bit silly. The galleries devoted to Barbara Hepworth herself will be of most interest to those wanting to study her sculptural processes and models. If you prefer to see her sculpture in an outside setting, head for the Yorkshire Sculpture Park instead.

Visited August 2014
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Thank Tim H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Liverpool, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
160 reviews
58 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 81 helpful votes
“Excellent Place.”
Reviewed 13 August 2014

Bit hard to find and only a small expensive car park over the bridge, but the main Hepworth exhibition is very interesting. Lots of background on her larger pieces and info on Tate St Ives.
Do go and have a chuckle at the other modern exhibits, some are hilarious and you do wonder if they were just having a laugh - but thats modern stuff for you.

Visited August 2014
Helpful?
Thank david r
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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