Concentration of hands

BMJ 2012; 345 doi: (Published 24 October 2012) Cite this as: BMJ 2012;345:e7128
  1. Annabel Ferriman
  1. 1BMJ

This drawing by Barbara Hepworth, entitled “Concentration of Hands 2,” is one of 30 drawings of surgeons at work by the artist, who is better known for her sculpture, over two years from 1947 to 1949.

After the hospitalisation of their daughter Sarah in 1944, Hepworth and her husband, the artist Ben Nicholson, struck up a friendship with Norman Capener, the surgeon who treated Sarah at the Princess Elizabeth Orthopaedic Hospital in Exeter. Through this friendship Hepworth was invited to witness a variety of surgical procedures at Exeter and the London Clinic.

Hepworth believed there to be a strong connection between her art and the skill of surgeons. She told an audience of surgeons in the 1950s, “There is, it seems to me, a close affinity between the work and approach both of physicians and surgeons and painters and sculptors.”

The exhibition at the Hepworth Wakefield gallery runs from 27 October 2012 to 3 February 2013.


Cite this as: BMJ 2012;345:e7128


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