Henry Spencer Moore (1898 – 1986)

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Moore, Chalk Drawing-Ideas for Sculpture- Rocking Chairs

Chalk Drawing-Ideas for Sculpture- Rocking Chairs
Watercolor on Paper 52.1 x 70.8 cm

Moore, At Coal Face

At Coal Face
Pen, chalk and Ink, wax and pencil 30 x 56.7 cm

Henry Moore was an English artist, known for his bronze sculptures of abstracted figures. Many of his sculptures are now erected in public spaces around the world. Moore was born in Castleford, West Yorkshire, England. His father was a mining engineer. His father made a point to educate his children, so that they would not have to work as miners.

Moore, Three Standing Figures

Three Standing Figures
1953 Bronze and patina 28 3/16 inches (71.7 cm)
The Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation

Moore, Two Women with a Child

Two Women with a Child
1944 Watercolor, pen & ink and crayon on paper 14 1/8 X 21 15/16 IN. (35.9 X 55.7 CM.)

Moore first became interested in sculpture as an elementary school student, after learning about the Renaissance sculptures of Michelangelo. After Secondary school, Moore worked for a short while as a student teacher, before being called to military duty at the age of eighteen. Moore served in the Prince of Whale’s Own Civil Service Rifles regiment.


Mother and Child on Rocking Chair (Study for “Rocking Chair No.2”), Verso: Studies for Reclining Figures
1948 Watercolor, gouache and crayon with pencil under-drawing on paper 11 1/2 X 9 1/2 IN. (29.2 X 24.1 CM.)

Moore, Fish

Seated Woman in a Chair, 1956/cast
1964 Bronze 10 x 7 x 7 3/4 in. (25.8 x 17.6 x 19.5 cm)

When the war ended, Moore received money to continue his education, and enrolled at Leeds School of Art. The school set up a studio for Moore, who was the first student to study sculpture. Moore later met Barbara Hepworth, who also became a sculptor. A few year later Moore was rewarded a scholarship to study at the Royal College of Art in London. In England’s capital, studying primitive art in ethnographic collections inspired Moore. Moore also started looking at the work of modern sculptors such as Constantin Brancusi and Frank Dobson.

Moore, Figure Carving

Figure Carving
1935 Cumberland alabaster 29.2 29.5 x 17.1 cm

Moore, Standing Figure No. 1

Standing Figure No. 1
(1952, cast 1953-54) Bronze 1/2 x 1 5/8 x 1 3/4 in. (24.1 x 3.9 x 4.4 cm)

In 1924 Moore won a scholarship to travel to Italy, where he studied the Old Masters and made an excursions to France. While in Paris, Moore saw a cast of a Tolec-Maya from Mexico. The figure would become a motif in his future work.

Moore, Nine Studies of Figures in Landscapes

Nine Studies of Figures in Landscapes
(CA. 1942-1949) Watercolor, pen & ink, crayon and pencil on paper 8 7/8 X 6 7/8 IN. (22.4 X 17.4 CM.)

Moore, Leaf Figure No. 3

Leaf Figure No. 3
(1952, cast 1953-54) Bronze 19 X 5 1/2 X 3 7/8 IN. (48.2 X 13.9 X 9.6 CM.) INCL. BASE H: 1/2 IN. (1.3 CM.); WT: 9 LB. (4.1 KG.) INCL. BASE

When Moore returned to London he started teaching at the Royal College of Art part-time while working on developing his own sculptures. In 1928 he completed his first public sculpture, “West Wind” in London’s Underground.

Moore, Ideas for Sculpture in Settings

Ideas for Sculpture in Settings
(CA. 1942-1953) Watercolor, pen & ink, pencil and crayon on paper 8 7/8 X 6 15/16 IN. (22.4 X 17.5 CM.)

By 1933, Moore became more interested in Surrealism and helped to organize the London International Surrealist Exhibition from 1936 to 1937. Moore held a teaching position at the Chelsea School of Art, until its relation to Northampton during the outbreak of the Second World War. Moore was hired as a war artist, and often slept in the London Underground to escape dangerous activity above ground. In 1940 after his home was hit with shrapnel, Moore and his wife moved to a farmhouse in the Hoglands. Moore remained in this location for the rest of his life, developing an extensive studio and workshop.

Moore, Reclining Figure: Internal and External Forms (Working Model)

Reclining Figure: Internal and External Forms (Working Model)
(1951, cast 1952-53) Bronze 13 1/2 X 21 1/8 X 7 5/8 IN. (34.2 X 53.5 X 19.3 CM.)

Moore, The Bride

The Bride
1939-40 Cast lead and copper wire 9 3/8 x 4 1/8 x 4″ (23.8 x 10.3 x 10 cm)
© 2010 Henry Moore Foundation

In 1946 Moore’s wife gave birth to a girl, Mary. Moore soon produced a series of “Mother and Child” compositions, in response to his first-born. While Moore enjoyed fatherhood, he was busy with commissions in Paris, Oslo and Chicago among other cities. In 1951 Moore rejected knighthood, but became a trustee of the Tate Gallery and the first president of the Turner Society.

Today Moore’s work can be seen in collections around the world. The Art Gallery of Ontario, Canada owns the most extensive Moore collection. Do you think you own a sculpture or drawing by Henry Moore? Contact us. We are the Moore experts.


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