Peter Parker

The well of happiness – and despair: Queer St Ives reviewed

The town in the 1950s was a crucible of gay artistic life, as painters, sculptors, playwrights and actors flocked to it

Barbara Hepworth, doyenne of St Ives, with her sculpture ‘Mother and Child’ [Fox Photos/Getty]

In the winter of 1952 the 21-year-old sculptor John Milne travelled to St Ives in Cornwall to take up a temporary job as an assistant to Barbara Hepworth. The arrangement was that he would become her pupil in exchange for helping her in the studio, but he was subsequently paid a small salary and ended up staying in her employ for two years.

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