Art & Sculpture

An international city of sculpture…

By Graham Whitehead, Experience Wakefield

Wakefield’s reputation as a city of sculpture is headline news. We are advocates of art, renowned for remarkable artists, have two award-winning galleries and regularly host groundbreaking exhibitions all over the city.

Wakefield’s links to sculpture have seen it raise two of the greatest artists of the 20th century. Barbara Hepworth, one of the most important artists of the last 100 years, lived in Wakefield, and Henry Moore, the most popular and internationally celebrated sculptor of his time, was from Castleford.

The city now celebrates these two pioneers, not least in two museums that showcase their work alongside international collections and touring exhibits. The Hepworth Wakefield and Yorkshire Sculpture Park have both won the world’s largest museum prize – the Art Fund Museum of the Year award. (Making us the only city outside of London to boast two winners).

"You also shouldn’t miss a stop at The Art House. This is the house that art built, and its home to more than 50 artist studios, gallery spaces, and even a café and shop."

The Art House, Wakefield

The Hepworth Wakefield, Wakefield

The stunning backdrop to Yorkshire Sculpture Park includes fields, hills, woodlands, lakes, gardens and galleries. In this beautiful landscape you can stumble across the unusual in the natural as acclaimed artists have filled the 500 acres with incredible works of art. This is a place that is all about ‘art without walls’. It’s a museum and gallery where you can take a good walk, breathe in the fresh air and discover surprising sculpture. Kids – and grown ups – can run free. Even dogs (on leads) love it, and you’ll definitely discover a sheep or two! “Britain’s first and finest sculpture park” (the BBC) is one of the most instagrammable places on earth.

A short drive (20 minutes) up the road from YSP is The Hepworth Wakefield, located on the edge of the city centre. The gallery building – a sculpture in itself – was designed by the world-famous David Chipperfield Architects. On the banks of the River Calder, it showcases the work of Barbara Hepworth and the city’s remarkable modern art collection, as well as welcoming artists from all over the world in its special exhibitions programme. The Director of Art Fund calls it “The Museum everyone would dream of having on their doorstep”. Well, it’s on our doorstep – but we welcome everybody in.

You also shouldn’t miss a stop at The Art House. This is the house that art built, and its home to more than 50 artist studios, gallery spaces, and even a café and shop. The beating heart of the alternative arts scene in Wakefield, it hosts a year-round programme of exhibitions, events and classes, as well as being the HQ of a variety of global artists, makers and creative businesses.

Experience a City of Sculpture

The Hepworth Wakefield

The Hepworth Wakefield is an award-winning art gallery in the heart of Yorkshire, set within Wakefield’s historic waterfront overlooking the River Calder. Designed by the acclaimed Dav...

The Art House

Welcome to the house that art built.

The Art House provides time, space and support for artists, makers and creative businesses to develop their practice. It is a place where ar...

The Hepworth Wakefield Garden

The Hepworth Wakefield Garden, designed by internationally acclaimed landscape architect Tom Stuart-Smith, is a beautifully landscaped space free for all to enjoy.

The garden ha...

Yorkshire Sculpture Park

Yorkshire Sculpture Park is the leading international centre for modern and contemporary sculpture. It is an independent charitable trust and registered museum situated in the 500-acre...