7 October 2014
Amongst the Waterfront regeneration project, the Hepworth Wakefield art gallery will be in the heart of the city, but it will have the city itself at its heart. It will be the home to a unique collection of casts by Wakefield-born artist Barbara Hepwor
Amongst the Waterfront regeneration project, the Hepworth Wakefield art gallery will be in the heart of the city, but it will have the city itself at its heart. It will be the home to a unique collection of casts by Wakefield-born artist Barbara Hepworth and sculptures by Castleford's Henry Moore. And when it opens in 2010, the new £26m gallery will have a dedicated Wakefield and Yorkshire in Pictures room, which will house the Gott Collection of more than 1,200 images of the district. And thanks to the siting of the gallery on Wakefield's Waterfront, the room will look out onto the Chantry Chapel, a place that has drawn artists to Wakefield for centuries and continues to do so. Nino Vella, Wakefield Council's senior cultural officer for art, said: "The Hepworth won't just be about modern art - we want to show all of our collection. "We want to create a ripple effect with what we show, starting in the Wakefield Waterfront, then to take it to the city, the district and then to Yorkshire. "Wakefield was on the route of the major tours which artists would take in the 18th century - mainly because of the Chantry Chapel. "We wanted to have a visual connection with the chapel and in the Wakefield room. "We will have a window looking out onto it, with pieces of art inspired by the chapel alongside it." Wakefield Art Gallery is in the process of digitising the 10 volumes in the Gott Collection so they are available to view on the internet. By the time the new gallery opens, the entire collection will all be available online. The new gallery will also have two spaces dedicated to Dame Barbara Hepworth. Mr Vella said: "They will show Hepworth's work and her connections with Wakefield, which will explain why and how she created them. All the display areas will be on the first floor - beautiful and intriguing rooms. The before and after will be remarkable. "Because of the quality of the Hepworth building we will be able to borrow from international collections." Hepworth Wakefield architects David Chipperfield have released new impressions of how the inside of the gallery will look. Work on the building started in November and is set to finish late 2009, with the opening set for spring 2010. A new footbridge designed to give better access to the city has been finalised and is set to be built in the autumn.