The gallery will exhibit a collection of sculpture, drawings and prints by Henry Moore drawn from our inventory and include important loans from private collections. The gallery specialises in the work of Henry Moore, this will be the fifth exhibition over the last 30 years. The exhibition will include rare early work and reflect the evolution of his career over 60 years from early student works to the iconic mother and child and reclining figure sculptures and drawings of the last years.
Baby’s Head, 1926
10.16 x 10.16 x 15.24 cm.
Mr & Mrs Rowland Howarth
Thence by descent
David Sylvester (ed.) and Herbert Read, ‘Henry Moore Complete Sculpture 1921-48 vol.I,’ London 1990, no.35, illustrated p.7
David Mitchinson with intro. by Peter Osborne, ‘Henry Moore,’ published by Osborne Samuel, 2015, p.21
Unseen for decades this is Moore’s first cast sculpture, depicting his sister Elizabeth Howarth’s new born daughter Mary. It has remained in the Howarth family ever since.
76 x 45 x 48 cm.
Acquired by Philippe Dotremont, Brussels, circa 1950, subsequent to the exhibition in Bern, 1950 but before the publication of the Tate Galley exhibition catalogue in 1951.
Carlo Ponti & Sophia Loren
Private European Collection
Berkeley Square Gallery, London
Private Collection, UK
Sculpture & drawings by Henry Moore, exh. cat. Tate Gallery, London, arranged by the Arts Council of Great Britain on the occasion of The Festival of Britain, 1951, fig.22
Herbert Read, Henry Moore, Munich, 1967, ill.pl.88
Robert Melville (ed) Henry Moore Carvings, Marlborough Fine Art, London, 1967, illustrated.
Robert Melville, Henry Moore, Sculpture & drawings 1921-1969, New York, 1970, no.91 illustrated.
Elda Fezzi, Henry Moore, 1977, ill.p.11
Charles Harrison (ed), Unit 1, Portsmouth, May 1978, ill.p.37
Franco Russoli & David Mitchinson, Henry Moore, Escultura, Barcelona, 1981, no.84, ill. p.59
Alex Robertson et al (ed) Surrealism in Britain in the Thirties, Leeds, 1986, ill.pp.210-211.
Susan Compton, Henry Moore, London, 1988, ill.p.64
David Sylvester (ed) & Herbert Read, Henry Moore, Complete Sculpture, 1921-48, vol.1, London, 1990, no.138, ill.p.84
Cercle d’Art (ed), Moore 1898-1986, Paris, 1996, ill. pl.28
Henry Moore, Sculpture of the 20th Century, exh. cat. Dallas Museum of Art, 2001, illustrated in photographs pp.67, 213
Henry Moore, edited by Christopher Stephens, published by Tate Publishing, 2010, no 49, illustrated, p.132
London, Mayor Gallery. Unit 1, April 1934, no 30 as Composition (Corsehill stone)
London, New Burlington Galleries, International Surrealist Exhibition, 1936
New York, Museum of Modern Art, Henry Moore, 1946
Bern, Kunsthalle Bern, Henry Moore, 1950, no.23 (illustrated in the catalogue)
London, Marlborough Fine Arts, Henry Moore: Stone & Wood Carvings, 1961, no.16
London, Marlborough Fine Arts, Art in Britain 1930-1940 centred around Axis Circle Unit One, March-April 1965, no 83 (illustrated in the catalogue)
London, The Tate Gallery, Henry Moore, July-September 1968, no.29 (illustrated in the catalogue)
Florence, Forte Belvedere, Moore e Firenze, 1972, no.19
London, Royal Academy, Henry Moore, September-December 1988, no 19 (illustrated in the catalogue)
London, Tate Modern, Surrealism: Desire Unbound, 2001-2002, no.39 with tour to Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.
Saint-Paul de Vence, Foundation Maeght, Henry Moore – Retrospective, 2002, no.39
Henry Moore, Tate Gallery, London, February-August 2010, no 49
Reclining Figures, 1943
Pencil, charcoal, wax crayons, pen, ink & wash on paper
45.6 x 64.7 cm.
Signed & dated lower left 'Moore 43' & with various inscriptions by the artist
Private Collection, Chicago (acquired before 1950 & thence by descent)
Private Collection, USA
Ann Garrould (ed.), Henry Moore, Complete Drawings, vol.3, 1940-49, Aldershot, 2001, no.AG43.107; HMF 2156, ills.p.196
Stanford, Iris & B Gerald Cantor Centre for Visual Arts, Stanford University, on loan, March 2000
This drawing is reminiscent of a work from the same period Reclining Figures: Ideas for Stone Sculpture, 1944, in which each figure appears in an individual pod in a subterranean setting, recalling the mysterious fascination that caves in hillsides and cliffs held for the artist. Moore’s interest in underground landscapes had previously been expressed in his ‘Shelter Drawings’ series of 1941, depicting figures taking refuge in the London Underground during the Blitz, and in his coal mining drawings of the same year.
16 x 14 x 11 cm.
Signed on the base "To Ann Zwinger from Henry Moore"
Collection of the artist. Collection of Ann H. Zwinger.
By descent, Ann H. Zwinger Trust.
Orebro, Sweden, 1952
Dimensions include the artist’s base Height 2cm; 3/4 in
The recent, spectacular exhibition of Moore’s Helmet Heads at the Wallace Collection in 2019 demonstrates their enduring fascination. Moore had visited the Wallace Collection in the 1920s and made drawings of armour, recording details that found their way into his sculptures – most intensely during the 1930s to 1950s, but sporadically throughout the course of his life.
Early intimations of Moore’s Helmet series appear in his drawings in the mid-1930s. Helmets morph into heads, skulls contain blanched structures, branching within them. From these seedling ideas developed Moore’s first metal sculpture. The Helmet (1939–40), originally in lead, is a slender vertical structure. Two holes, piercing its top, appear as eyes. Most importantly, however, it encloses a separately cast inner form suggesting a figure, planted on two stubby legs. The upright form of this figure, in combination with the womb-like enclosure of the outer shell, suggests a mother and child.
Moore, in fact, cited multiple sources for the series that unfolded from this startling composition. In addition to the Wallace Collection, he recalled that his early interest in armour had been informed by the Victoria and Albert Museum, where he wandered at lunchtimes as a student. ₁ He also linked The Helmet’s origin to Wyndham Lewis ‘talking about the shell of a lobster covering the soft flesh inside’. The carapace protects a vulnerable interior, just as a mother shields her child:
The helmet … became a recording of things inside other things. The mystery of semiobscurity where one can only half distinguish something. In the helmet you do not quite know what is inside. ₂
It is an intriguing line of thought, and one that Andrew Causey probed by juxtaposing Moore’s The Helmet with Epstein’s Rock Drill, which likewise shelters an embryo inside its mechanistic ribcage. ₃
Moore’s use of lead for the early versions of the Helmet series was a practical solution to casting his own work. Lead could be melted at a relatively low temperature, from sections of piping, and cast outdoors. Later, Moore cast these same sculptures in bronze to make them less vulnerable to damage. But again, there was an alternative reading. Moore described the original versions as ‘more expressive because lead has a kind of poisonous quality; you feel that if you licked it you might die’. ₄
Helmet (1950) is a maquette for the first numbered sculpture in the series. It has a more open, simplified form from the front, while the back has two pointed apertures and a series of slits, suggesting vents. Echoing this, the inner form is both pointed and curved, containing its own sharp slit. To the top are two circular holes. The catalogue for the Wallace Collection exhibition related the overall shape of this sculpture, with its prominent circular air vents, to the German ‘coalscuttle’ helmet – the M1916 Stahlhelm, which was a sought-after souvenir for British troops in World War I. Moore would have seen such helmets during combat in 1917. ₅
Yet, unlike the larger version of Helmet Head No. 1, the maquette is unique and possesses a distinct history. Cast in 1950, it was chosen in 1952 by Moore and Fritz Eriksson (Head of the Swedish Arts Council) as part of a touring exhibition destined for a year-long tour of Sweden, Denmark, Norway, the Netherlands and Germany. An installation photograph shows the two maquettes for Helmet Head No. I and Helmet Head No. 2, side by side on a plinth. To the left is Moore’s stone Composition (1932), subsequently bought by the Tate, and to the right, Half-Figure (1929) in cast concrete, purchased by the British Council in 1948. On the walls, enlarged photographs of further works by Moore indicate the breadth of his practice as a sculptor. Sold to its only owner, Ann Zwinger, in the early 1950s, the maquette for Helmet Head No. 1 was in fact a substitution for a different lead sculpture, which was damaged in transit. The maquette’s base touchingly records this provenance, bearing both the British Council’s exhibition label and the handwritten dedication ‘To Ann Zwinger, from Henry Moore’.
₁ Moore, in Alan Wilkinson (ed.), Henry Moore: Writings and Conversations (Aldershot: Lund Humphries, 2002), p. 214.
₃ Andrew Causey, The Drawings of Henry Moore (Lund Humphries, 2010), p. 99.
₄ Moore, in Moore: Head-Helmet: An Exhibition to Celebrate the 150th Anniversary of the Foundation of the University of Durham (Durham: DLI Museum and Arts Centre, 1982), p. 1
₅ Tobias Capwell & Hannah Higham, Henry Moore: The Helmet Heads (London: The Wallace Collection, 2019), p. 86.
Draped Reclining Figure, 1957
31 x 63.5 x 23 cm.
Edition of 11
Marina & Willy Staehelin-Peyer Collection, USA (Acquired directly from the artist)
Private Collection, UK
Alan Bowness, ed.’ Henry Moore, Complete Sculpture, 1955-64, Vol.3, London, 1965, no:412, ill. of another example p.30. pls 38 & 39
Hakone Open-Air Museum, Japan (permanent collection)
In a letter to Dr. Staehelin, Moore describes the casting of his recently finished piece, ‘Draped Reclining Woman’.‘ I am going to have it cast in Berlin, as I have been given the name of a very good bronze foundary which can cast it without delay … Of course I shall have to go to Berlin myself to see the cast as it gets near completion, so that I am sure that it is well done and entirely satisfactory’ (Henry Moore, unpublished letter to Dr. Staehelin, December 5, 1958)
Henry Moore Archive: Drapery played a very important part in the shelter drawings I made in 1940 and 1941 and what I began to learn then about its function as form gave me the intention, sometime or other, to use drapery in sculpture in a more realistic way than I had ever tried to use it in my carved sculpture. And my first visit to Greece in 1951 perhaps helped to strengthen this intention . . . Drapery can emphasise the tension in a figure, for where the form pushes outwards, such as on the shoulders, the thighs, the breasts, etc., it can be pulled tight across the form (almost like a bandage), and by contrast with the crumpled slackness of the drapery which lies between the salient points, the pressure from inside is intensified . . . Drapery can also, by its direction over the form, make more obvious the section, that is, show shape. It need not be just a decorative addition, but can serve to stress the sculptural idea of the figure.
Henry Moore quoted from Sculpture in the Open Air: A Talk by Henry Moore on his Sculpture and its Placing in Open-Air Sites, edited by Robert Melville and recorded by the British Council 1955; typescript, copy in HMF library
Working Model for Reclining Figure: Bone Skirt, 1977-1979
35 x 69 x 36 cm.
Signed and numbered from the edition of 9 on the base
Edition of 9
Private Collection, London
Alan Bowness, ed., Henry Moore Complete Sculpture 1980-1986, vol. 5, London, 1986, no. 723, p. 34-35 & pls. 124 & 125.
The classic sculpture Reclining Figure – Bone Skirt, is one of Moore’ s most recognisable and iconic figures. This is the working model for a marble sculpture which was owned by his daughter Mary and was subsequently reworked as a monumental carving in travertine marble dating from 1978. At the time Moore was spending the summers at a villa he had built near the Carrara quarries in Italy. Moore observed in 1931: “The human figure is what interests me deeply, but I have found principles of form and rhythm from the study of natural objects such as pebbles, rocks, bones, trees, plants … bones have marvellous structural strength and hard tenseness of form, subtle transition of one shape into the next…”
Moore returned again and again to the reclining figure, initially inspired by the early Mexican Chacmool sculptures he saw at the British Museum in the 1920s. The subject re-occurs throughout his career with infinite variations of form and line, here the use of drapery to accentuate the shape and continuous line of the body.
I want to be quite free of having to find a ‘ reason’ for doing the Reclining Figures, and freer still of having to find a ‘ meaning’ for them. The vital thing for an artist is to have a subject that allows to try out all kinds of formal ideas – things that he doesn’ t yet know about for certain but wants to experiment with, as Cézanne did in his ‘ Bathers’ series. In my case the reclining figure provides chances of that sort. The subject-matter is given. It’ s settled for you, and you know it and like it, so that within it, within the subject that you’ ve done a dozen times before, you are free to invent a completely new form-idea.
Henry Moore quoted in John Russell, Henry Moore , Allen Lane, The Penguin Press, London 1968, p.28
Mother and Child: Circular Base, 1980
13.3 x 11.5 x 11.5 cm.
Signed and numbered from the edition at back of bronze
Edition of 9
The Artist, May 1981, from whom acquired by
Private Collection, New Zealand
Private Collection, U.K.
With Berkeley Square Gallery, London, 2003, where purchased by
Private Collection, U.K. by whom gifted to the present owner
Private Collection, U.K.
Osborne Samuel, London (Formerly Berkeley Square Gallery)
Alan Bowness, Henry Moore: Volume 6, Complete Sculpture, 1980-86, London, 1999, p.37, cat.no.790 (ill.b&w., another cast)
Rome, Vigna Antoniana, Henry Moore, 1981
Ravenna, Moore, Sculture, disegni e grafica, 1986 no.13 (illustrated)
Height excludes base.
A cast is owned by the Henry Moore Foundation, Perry Green, UK
Though a pervasive theme throughout Moore’s oeuvre, the artist created more images of the Mother and Child in the final decade of his life than in any other period of his career. Moore wrote in 1979: “The ‘Mother and Child’ is one of my two or three obsessions, one of my inexhaustible subjects. This may have something to do with the fact that the ‘Madonna and Child’ was so important in the art of the past and that one loves the old masters and has learned so much from them. But the subject itself is eternal and unending, with so many sculptural possibilities in it—a small form in relation to a big form, the big form protecting the small one, and so on. It is such a rich subject, both humanly and compositionally, that I will always go on using it” (quoted in A. Wilkinson, ed., Henry Moore: Writings and Conversations, Berkeley, 2002, p. 213).
Mother with Twins, 1982
12.8 x 8.5 x 11 cm.
Signed and numbered on the base
Edition of 9 + 1
Marlborough Gallery, New York
Acquired from the above in June 1983
Henry Moore, 85th Birthday Exhibition: stone carvings, bronze sculptures, drawings (exhibition catalogue), Marlborough Fine Art, London, 1986, illustration of another cast p. 66
Alan Bowness, ed., Henry Moore Complete Sculpture 1980-1986, vol. 6, London, 1986, no. 873, illustrations of another cast p. 54 & pl. 114
Dimensions include artist’s bronze base
A cast from the edition is in the collection of the Yale Center for British Art, gifted by Jeffrey Loria
The original plaster for this work is in the collection of the Henry Moore Foundation and visible in the Bourne maquette studio. One child is shown with the mother.
Moore made several drawings for and of this sculpture, using the device of two children to emphasise the interaction between the children and the mother. This is the only recorded sculpture with this theme