Dorothy Hepworth's life and work has been overshadowed by her flambouyant life-long partner, Patricia Preece, who bizarrely married Stanley Spencer in 1937 but continued to live with Dorothy in a lesbian relationship. For many decades Dorothy has remained an enigmatic, shadowy, figure - her name only mentioned in passing as Patricia Preece's 'friend' and thus her work as a painter has never received the attention it deserves.
During her lifetime Patricia Preece was highly regarded as an artist by luminaries such as Augustus John, Roger Fry, Duncan Grant, Vanessa Bell and Virginia Woolf amongst others. We now know that this reputation was gained by signing and exhibiting works painted by her partner Dorothy Hepworth.
We are currently cataloguing Hepworth's paintings in preparation for a major publication about her life and art.
Do make contact with us if you have any works by Dorothy Hepworth (often signed 'P. Preece') or any archival material that you think might be of value to this research project.