Assembly of Sea Forms
Barbara Hepworth (English, 1903-1975)
On View

Hepworth possessed a remarkable ability to conjure organic form from inorganic materials and a uniquely keen sense of spatial relationships. Rounding contours, piercing forms, playing with scale and arrangement, her work explores the embodied relationship between object and observer. In this late sculpture, white marble veined with gray is transformed into a cast of sea-smoothed creatures. Hepworth gave each of them a name: the two tallest shapes are known as Sea Mother and Sea King; the row ranged before them, as Shell, Sea Form and Young, and Rolled Sea Form; and the two small figures, as Embryo and Sea Bird. Ranged on a low, circular pedestal, these form a composition that can be viewed from every angle, quietly inhabiting the onlooker’s space.


  • Artist Name: Barbara Hepworth (English, 1903-1975)
  • Title: Assembly of Sea Forms
  • Date: 1972
  • Medium: White marble, mounted on stainless steel base
  • Dimensions: overall: 42-1/2 in. h. (108 cm); 72 in. diameter (182.9 cm)
  • Credit Line: Norton Simon Art Foundation
  • Accession Number: M.1974.12.1a-h.S
  • Copyright: © Bowness, Hepworth Estate

Object Information

[on loan]

  • Phoenix, Phoenix Art Museum, 1974-05-31 to 1975-01
  • Bowness, A., Barbara Hepworth: A Pictorial Autobiography,no. 347 p. 131
  • Hubbard, G., Art at Auction, p. 71
  • Asher, Gerald, Gourmet Magazine, p. 62
  • Elements and Principals of Design, p. 8
  • Reilly, Richard, San Diego Union, p. E-10
  • Marlborough Gallery, Barbara Hepworth-Conversations,no. 13 pp. 11, 38-39
  • Brommer, G., Discovering Art History, pp. 492-493
  • Campbell, Sara, Collector Without Walls: Norton Simon and His Hunt for the Best,2010, cat. 1082 p. 370
Audio Tour
English | Español
Audio Tour Transcript
English | Español
English | Español
Transcripción de Audioguía
English | Español
Children's Audio Tour
English | Español
Children's Audio Tour Transcript
English | Español
Audioguía Infantil
English | Español
Transcripción de Audioguía Infantil
English | Español

Additional Artwork by Artist

Duo (Grey & White) Barbara Hepworth 1973
Four-Square (Walk Through) Barbara Hepworth 1966
Oread Barbara Hepworth 1958

Image reproduction permission may be granted for scholarly or arts related commercial use. All image requests, regardless of their intended purpose, should be submitted via the reproduction request form.

Images may be protected by copyright and other intellectual property rights. Additional permission may be required.

Approved requests for the reproduction of an image will receive a contract detailing all fees and conditions of use of the image. Upon receipt of both the signed contract and full payment, the Office of Rights and Reproductions will provide the image. A complimentary copy of the published material must be provided to the Norton Simon Museum.

Reproduction Request Form