Henry Moore

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Moore, Henry,

1898–1986, English sculptor. Moore's early sculpture was angular and rough, strongly influenced by pre-Columbian art. About 1928 he evolved a more personal style which has gained him an international reputation. His works, in wood, stone, and cement (done without clay models), are characterized by their smooth, organic shape and often include empty hollows, which he showed to have as meaningful a shape as solid mass. During World War II, when materials for carving were scarce, he was commissioned by the government to do a series of drawings of the London underground bomb shelters (1940). His favorite sculptural subjects were the mother and child and the reclining figure. Moore executed an abstract screen and a reclining figure for the Time-Life Building in London (1952–53), a bronze group for Lincoln Center of the Performing Arts in New York City (1962–65), and a monument for the Univ. of Chicago (1964–66). In the Art Gallery of Toronto, a gallery is dedicated entirely to his works.


See his autobiography, ed. by J. Hedgecoe (1968); a collection of his writings, ed. by P. James (1967); biography by R. Berthond (1987); studies by E. Neumann (1984) and A. Bowness (1986).

Moore, Henry


Born July 30, 1898, in Castleford, Yorkshire. English sculptor.

Moore studied at the Leeds School of Art from 1919 to 1921 and at the Royal College of Art in London from 1921 to 1925. He taught at the Royal College until 1933. Later he taught at art schools in Chelsea and Slide. Moore was influenced by primitive art (primarily Mexican sculpture) and pre-Renaissance sculpture.

In the 1920’s, Moore began to work out a few favorite motifs (as seen in such works as Mother and Child and Reclining Figure). He produces works that are fairly representational (Family Group, bronze, 1945–49) and works that are abstract or somewhat fantastic. Moore’s sculptures are strongly modeled monumental forms. They are characterized by the interaction of forms, complex and architectonically tense composition, rhythmic outlines, and an organic relationship with the environment. The artist’s sculptures include Reclining Figure (marble, 1957–58, UNESCO Building, Paris) and Reclining Mother and Child (bronze, 1961, Art Center, Minneapolis). Moore is also a talented draftsman. In the early 1940’s he did a cycle of drawings devoted to life in wartime London.


Heads, Figures and Ideas. London-New York, 1958.


Valerius, S. Progressivnaia skul’ptura XX veka. Moscow, 1973. Pages 268–74.
Read, H. H. Moore, vols. 1–2. London, 1955–57.
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Old and new architecture Leeds is a seamless blend of old and new buildings from the old town hall to the modern Henry Moore Gallery.
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