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About Henry Moore - Famous British Sculptor

Updated on November 4, 2015
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Katherine has researched and written about many British, European and Japanese Artists - both past and present

Bronze sculpture by Henry Moore in the garden of Hoglands, his former home
Bronze sculpture by Henry Moore in the garden of Hoglands, his former home | Source

Find out more about Henry Moore (1898-1986)

Henry Moore (1898-1986) was an English artist and sculptor who was probably the most celebrated sculptor of the twentieth century.

Works were often sculpted in bronze or marble, many are monumental and he is particularly well known for his reclining nudes and the 'mother and child' series.

This page celebrates his life and work and provides links to:

  • his official website and the Henry Moore Foundation
  • an overview of the life of Henry Moore
  • where you can find out more about Henry Moore's work in museums, art galleries and online- books by Henry Moore and about Henry Moore and his life and work
  • exhibitions of work by Henry Moore- images of Moore's work created by the public

The Life of Henry Moore - From the website of the Henry Moore Foundation

The Henry Moore Foundation provides a very well organised and informative biography of Henry Moore.

The section on Henry Moore has a separate page for each period of his life. I've extracted a tiny amount of text from each page to give you a flavour of his life and as an incentive to click the link and read more about his life!

Sculpture by Henry-Moore in Kew Gardens (2007)
Sculpture by Henry-Moore in Kew Gardens (2007) | Source

Henry Moore on Wikipedia

An Introduction to Henry Moore

Sir Henry Spencer Moore OM CH FBA, (30 July 1898 - 31 August 1986) was an English artist and sculptor.

The son of a mining engineer, he was born in the Yorkshire town of Castleford.

Moore became well-known for his larger-scale abstract cast bronze and carved marble sculptures. Substantially supported by the British art establishment, Moore helped to introduce a particular form of modernism to the United Kingdom.Moore is best known for his abstract monumental bronzes which can be seen in many places around the world as public works of art.

The subjects are usually abstractions of the human figure, typically mother-and-child or reclining figures.

  • Apart from a flirtation with family groups in the 1950s, the subject is nearly always a woman.
  • Characteristically, Moore's figures are pierced, or contain hollow places.
  • Many interpret the undulating form of his reclining figures as references to the landscape and hills of Yorkshire where Moore was born.

His ability to satisfy large-scale commissions made him exceptionally wealthy towards the end of his life. However, he lived frugally and most of his wealth went to endow the Henry Moore Foundation, which continues to support education and promotion of the arts.

This is a link to the article about Henry Moore on Wikipedia

Henry Moore - official websites

If you want the official version of Henry Moore and the Henry Moore Foundations these are the websites you need

Celebrating Moore: Works from the Collection of the Henry Moore Foundation - by David Mitchinson

Celebrating Moore: Works from the Collection of The Henry Moore Foundation
Celebrating Moore: Works from the Collection of The Henry Moore Foundation

Paperback: 360 pagesPublisher: Lund Humphries Publishers Ltd (July 2006)

If you want to buy just one book about Henry Moore's sculpture this is the one.

In one volume, it's the biggest and most comprehensive commentary on over 250 of his most important works. It's target audience comprises scholars, art professionals and enthusiasts alike.


Henry Moore Shelter Drawings

Moore was too old for active service in the 2nd World War but he did work as a war artist.

He was unable to work on his sculpture during the war. One of the activities be pursued instead was drawing people in the underground shelters after he became aware they were full of "Henry Moore reclining figures" at night as they slept on the platforms in the tunnels during bombing raids. His drawings came to the attention of Kenneth Clark who was the chair of the War Artist's Advisory Committee (WAAC). He purchased a number of Moore's drawings and subsequently employed him as an official war artist between 1940 and 1942.His Shelter drawings were later displayed at the National Gallery in London. Subsequently Moore became most well know for his shelter drawings for a while.

Books by Henry Moore at the Henry Moore Foundation, Perry Green

Books by Henry Moore at the Henry Moore Foundation, Perry Green
Books by Henry Moore at the Henry Moore Foundation, Perry Green

London's War: The Shelter Drawings of Henry Moore - by Julian Andrews

London's War: The Shelter Drawings of Henry Moore
London's War: The Shelter Drawings of Henry Moore

Paperback: 144 pages

Publisher: Lund Humphries Publishers Ltd (28 Oct 2002)

Moore's studio in Hampstead, London was bombed early on in World War 2. He turned his attentions to recording the experiences of the people of London in drawings which he could do anywhere. One of his favourite places for drawing was in the shelters.

This work considers Moore's visual documentation of the shelters - as an official war artist - within the context of the events of the London Blitz of 1940-41.

Moore also comments on how the shelter drawings influenced what people thought about him and his work after the war.


Henry Moore Complete Drawings, 1916-83 (Vol 1-7)

Available as a seven volume set and as individual volumes, this collection explores the different dimensions, subject matter and chronology of Henry Moore's drawings over the period 1916 to 1986.

You can see an image of the seven volumes in my photograph above

Henry Moore's Sheep Sketchbook - (60th Anniversary Edition No 1) [Deluxe Edition]

Henry Moore's Sheep Sketchbook (60th Anniversary)
Henry Moore's Sheep Sketchbook (60th Anniversary)

Hardcover: 96 pages

Publisher: Thames & Hudson; Special edition edition (May 5, 2009)

Rated an average of 4.9 out of 5 stars by 34 reviews on

Rated an average of 4.6 out of 5 stars by 7 reviews on

His sheep sketchbook is one of the most popular books about Henry Moore on Amazon!

I'm a huge fan of it and what's more I've seen the sheep in the field next to his studio.

This is the 60th anniversary edition.

The story goes that the sheep sketchbook started out when he was preparing for an exhibition. As all artists know this can be a stressful time and Moore decided that he needed time out from the exhibition and some peace and quiet. He used a room from which he could see the sheep in the fields next to his studio and started to draw them - and then filled a sketchbook with his drawings.


Henry Moore at Hoglands, Perry Green

Moore moved to Hoglands at Perry Green during the 2nd World War after being bombed out of his studio in Hampstead.However I don't think a lot of people know about Hoglands or the fact that it's so close to London.I love the fact they've kept his studios intact and that you can see what sort of sculpture he liked to collect in his house. The personal touches really make the man come alive.

Hoglands - by David Mitchinson

Hoglands: The Home of Henry and Irina Moore
Hoglands: The Home of Henry and Irina Moore

Hardcover: 224 pages

Publisher: Lund Humphries Publishers (June 30, 2007)

I visited Hoglands when I was invited there by the Henry Moore Foundation for the Henry Moore Prints and Portfolio Exhibition in 2010. I was fortunate enough to have a tour of the house and saw the rooms in which he lived and the pieces which he chose to have around him. The house is currently furnished as it was around about 1970.

Henry Moore and his wife Irina moved to Perry Green in Essex after they were bombed out of their home in London during the blitz of the Second World War.

They lived in their house at Hoglands for nearly 50 years

The book both covers both themes relating to the Moores living at Hoglands and also the restoration of the house. It also relates the development of his studios in the grounds to the development of his work. It provides a timeline of how Hoglands and Moore and his family developed together.

In 2004 Hoglands transferred into the possession of the Foundation which is now the Guardian of his work and his artistic reputation as a sculptor of world renown.


Henry Moore Plasters

Henry Moore Plasters
Henry Moore Plasters

Hardcover: 160 pages

Publisher: Royal Academy Publications (September 1, 2011)

This is the first book on Moore's works in plaster, which until recently have been regarded as preparatory works rather than finished sculptures

If you go to Hoglands - as I have done - you can see the plaster maquettes he used to make when working out a bigger sculpture


Henry Moore at Kew Gardens - 15 September 2007-30 March 2008

This was a landmark exhibition of monumental works by the internationally acclaimed sculptor Henry Moore Monumental sculpture in a World Heritage setting.

Below you can find the catalogue of the exhibition and then some video records of this enormously popular exhibition at Kew

Henry Moore at Kew

Moore at Kew
Moore at Kew

Paperback: 96 pages

Publisher: Royal Botanic Gardens (1 Oct 2007)

This book records the fabulous and very successful Henry Moore Exhibition of sculpture at Kew Gardens in 2007. 28 large sculptures placed around and about the 300 acres of Kew's World Heritage Site.

It was an amazingly popular exhibition and attracted many thousands of extra visitors. One account I've read suggests that visitor numbers increased by some 50% while it was on display in the gardens.

I still walk around Kew remembering the sculptures I saw at specific places.

The book and is extensively illustrated and also includes a chronology of Moore's life and work.


VIDEOS: Henry Moore on YouTube

Henry Moore at Tate Britain - Tate Britain 24 February - 8 August 2010

Henry Moore at Tate Britain 24 February - 8 August 2010

This stunning exhibition takes a fresh look at his work and legacy, presenting over 150 stone sculptures, wood carvings, bronzes and drawings.

Henry Moore
Henry Moore

Hardcover: 240 pages

Publisher: Skira Rizzoli; First Edition edition (April 20, 2010)

This book was published by the Tate Museum to mark a major exhibition in 2010.

The exhibition re-examined the importance of Henry Moore and looked in particular at the period of his work between the 1920s and the early 1960s.

Below you can see some of the very many reviews which the exhibition received at the time.


Henry Moore at Hatfield House - 23 April - 30 September 2011

Hatfield House in Hertfordshire will host a major exhibition of outdoor sculpture by British artist Henry Moore to celebrate its 400th anniversary in 2011. The exhibition will feature monumental bronze works from the collection of The Henry Moore Foundation, which is based near Hatfield House at Perry Green in Hertfordshire.The exhibition at Hatfield House will be open to the public from 23 April - 30 September 2011.

Henry Moore and Tower Hamlets

Lutfur Rahman, the controversial Mayor of Tower Hamlets, proposes to sell "Draped Seated Woman" a large bronze sculpture in order to raise funds for the Council.

There has been a major outcry and the links below reflect just some of the feelings which have been expressed

"Henry Moore in effect gave this statue to Tower Hamlets. He sold it for a paltry 6,000 at a time when he could easily have made 10 times that amount. Why? He was that much-derided thing: a socialist who believed, in the good old tradition of John Ruskin and William Morris, that art and beauty mattered just as much for poor people as for rich people. Rather than simply being a person whose work was exhibited in the great galleries of the world, he believed that sculpture was a public art and that it enhanced the quality of people's lives to be surrounded by beautiful objects.A.N. Wilson

Henry Moore; Energy in Space, 1973

'Landscape has been for me one of the sources of my energy. I find that all natural forms are a source of unending interest - tree trunks; the texture and variety of grasses. The whole of Nature is an endless demonstration of shape and form.'

Researching Henry Moore

The Henry Moore Foundation is an arts charity established by the artist in 1977 to promote sculpture in general and Henry Moore's work in particular.

The sculpture which influenced Henry Moore

In 1924, after studying on London, Moore won a six-month travelling scholarship which he spent in Italy and Paris.In the Louvre, he came across a plaster cast of a Toltec-Mayan sculptural form, an example of the Chac Mool. The motif (echoed in this 1939 Reclining Figure) was to have a profound effect upon his work

© 2008 Katherine Tyrrell

Comments and Suggestions - Let me know what you think - but please do not spam!

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    • Kristen Howe profile image

      Kristen Howe 2 years ago from Northeast Ohio

      This was a great hub on Henry Moore. What a talented sculptor he was back in his time. This was real interesting and amazing to read about. Voted up

    • aruraza profile image

      aruraza 5 years ago

      Fantastic lens!

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      Could you add in some quotes from art critics and historians about moore's workis

    • Liam Tohms profile image

      Liam Tohms 9 years ago

      Hi, great lens, why not join the Yorkshire group here on Squidoo - for all things Yorkshire at you there.Liam

    • profile image

      TomATS 9 years ago

      You have a great piece on Henry Moore here.Here is one of his quotes that I just added to my Avenues to Integrity that I thought you'd like to have."I think, what has this day brought me, and what have I given it?"