Penraevon and Barbara Hepworth

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Photo by John Escudero on

We got a message the other day from a relative of one of the people who used to live in our house. Her gran lived here as a schoolgirl before going to art college. We knew about Margaret as we had her wedding details. But I didn’t know that she went to Art School at the same time as Barbara Hepworth and Henry Moore.

According to her grandaughter her grandma knew Barbara Hepworth well, as they were at college together. Her Grandma went on to teach art in Harrogate. She died in 1993 aged 87.

I think they might have known the Hepworths very well as Barbara’s father was also a Civil engineer in Wakefield. I have found no proof but presume Joshua Acfield was Mr Hepworth’s boss as they both worked for West Riding County Council. I presume that Barbara and Margaret would have known each other from their time in Wakefield before moving to Leeds.

Her father was a surveyor for West Riding County Council, and Hepworth accompanied him on his inspections of local roads and bridges.

At Wakefield Girls’ High School Hepworth was inspired by seeing images of Egyptian sculpture and encouraged by the headteacher, Miss McCroben, to apply for a scholarship to Leeds School of Art.

The Hepworth Museum Wakefield

Whilst living in Penraevon she sketched parts of the house including this wonderful watercolour of our Porch still recognisable today.

Margaret Acfield circa 1923

There are some wonderful photos from Leeds Art college of students at this time, it all looks so modern and relaxed men and women learning togther. Unfortunately we don’t know if Margaret is in these pictures.

1920s drawing class – The group includes Pitchforth, Gordon Stowell, Horace Brooke, Jack Elvin and Kathleen Scott. 
Leeds School of Art students, c. 1920.  Back: standing, left to right, Barbara Hepworth, Eric Rodgers, Edna Ginesi, Henry Moore, unknown, unknown.  Sitting: left to right, unknown, George Stevenson, Harry (Happy) Taylor. 
Students at the Art University 1920s – be wonderful if this was Margaret
Leeds School of Sketching 1919

Leeds is part of the Yorkshire Sculpture Triangle, which brings together the Hepworth Wakefield, Henry Moore Institute Leeds, Yorkshire Sculpture Park Wakefield

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