Leeds & West Yorkshire

Hepworth Wakefield receives one millionth visitor

Simon Wallis, Pauline Mackiewicz and Peter Box
Image caption Pauline Mackiewicz received a food hamper

An art gallery has welcomed its one millionth visitor just two and a half years after it opened.

The Hepworth Wakefield gallery opened in May 2011 and is named after sculptor Dame Barbara Hepworth who was born in Wakefield in 1903.

The gallery's millionth visitor was Pauline Mackiewicz, from Australia, who described the honour as "unexpected and a little overwhelming".

The Hepworth said reaching the milestone was a "very special moment".

Ms Mackiewicz was given a Yorkshire Sculpture Triangle Experience, including behind-the-scenes tours at all four venues - the Henry Moore Institute, Leeds Art Gallery, the Hepworth Wakefield and Yorkshire Sculpture Park - a Yorkshire food hamper and an overnight stay in a Leeds hotel.

She also received a special bake based on millionaire's shortbread from Frances Quinn, winner of The Great British Bake Off 2013.

Simon Wallis, director of the Hepworth Wakefield, said: "It's wonderful to see the gallery celebrating this landmark after only two and a half years.

"And of course, our congratulations to Pauline for being our special millionth visitor."

Built alongside a weir on the River Calder, The Hepworth Wakefield is the largest purpose-built gallery to open in the UK since 1968.

It opened its doors on Saturday 21 May 2011 and attracted about 8,500 visitors on its first day.

Dame Barbara's family donated more than 40 of the artist's prototypes to the gallery, which also features work by her contemporary Henry Moore, who was born in nearby Castleford.

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