Alabaster is a soft white or translucent stone, it is a fine-grained marble-like variety of gypsum

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  • Sir Jacob Epstein, 'Jacob and the Angel' 1940-1
    Sir Jacob Epstein
    Jacob and the Angel 1940-1
    unconfirmed: 2140 x 1100 x 920 mm, 2500 kg
    Purchased with assistance from the National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund, the Art Fund and the Henry Moore Foundation 1996© The estate of Sir Jacob Epstein
  • Maurice Lambert, 'Swan' exhibited 1932
    Maurice Lambert
    Swan exhibited 1932
    object: 387 x 622 x 349 mm
    Presented by D.H. Conner 1932© The estate of Maurice Lambert
  • Dame Barbara Hepworth, 'Three Forms (Carving in Grey Alabaster)' 1935
    Dame Barbara Hepworth
    Three Forms (Carving in Grey Alabaster) 1935
    object: 265 x 473 x 217 mm
    Presented by the executors of the artist's estate 1980© Bowness, Hepworth Estate

Its softness enables it to be carved readily into elaborate forms making it a popular material for carved sculpture. It is also often used for ornamental stonework, though its solubility in water makes it unsuitable for outdoor work.