The Hepworth Wakefield

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Adult family

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The Hepworth Wakefield is one of my favourite galleries, set beside the River Calder near Wakefield City centre. It is clearly signposted with plentiful parking nearby at £4.50 and I believe there is closer free parking for Blue Badge holders. It is close to both of Wakefield's railway stations (Westagate is 1 mile away, Kirkgate 0.3 miles away.) Entry is free, though we always leave a donation, and when we visited in early January 2014 we were offered a full refund of the car parking fee if we spent at least £10.00 in the gallery's shop or cafe (easily done).

Upon entering the galleries you are greeted by two of Henry Moore's reclining figures, one of which you are allowed to touch wearing gloves available from the gallery assistant. I simply had to indulge in a lengthy feel, much to the embarrassment of my adult sons!

My favourite room is Gallery 5, dominated by the 6 metre high prototype for Winged Figure, commissioned by John lewis for their flagship store in London's Oxford Street. Alongside this in Gallery 6 is the entire set of her graphic works.

A lovely surprise was to be found in the exhibition of illustrations, water colours and drawings by Albert Wainwright – a childhood friend of Henry Moore, who sadly died age 45. This runs to the end of March 2014. I would strongly recommend this to any fans of Aubrey Beardsley.

There is currently a display of American painter Dana Schutz's large, colourful canvasses. This ends on 26 January 2014. My sons enjoyed these, described as "riotously coloured figurative paintings … (offering) pleasurable and provocative insights into contemporary life … " I look forward to seeing what it is replaced by in the spring.

For silver travellers with children or grandchildren there are free gallery trail packs to use in the gallery and numerous family events throughout the year. There are also adult workshops to develop skills in areas such as painting, photography, carving, ceramics, book-binding; talks and musical events.

For a full day out, the magnificent Yorkshire Sculpture Park is just 30 minutes drive away. 

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