Moore, Henry

Moore, Henry

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).

(born July 30, 1898, Castleford, Eng.—died Aug. 31, 1986, Much Hadham) English sculptor and graphic artist. The son of a coal miner, he was enabled to study at the Royal College of Art by a rehabilitation grant after being wounded in World War I. His early works were strongly influenced by the Mayan sculpture he saw in a Paris museum. From circa 1931 on he experimented with abstract art, combining abstract shapes with the human figure and at times leaving the human figure behind altogether. When materials grew scarce during World War II, he concentrated on drawings of Londoners sheltering from bombs in Underground stations. Commissions for a Madonna and Child and a family group turned his style from abstraction to the more humanistic approach that became the basis of his international reputation. He returned to experimentation in the 1950s with angular, pierced standing figures in bronze. Much of his work is monumental, and he is particularly well known for a series of reclining nudes. Among his major commissions were sculptures for UNESCO's Paris headquarters (1957–58), Lincoln Center (1963–65), and the National Gallery of Art (1978).

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The Henry Moore Foundation is a registered charity in England, established for education and promotion of the fine arts — in particular, to advance understanding of the works of Henry Moore. The charity was set up with the assistance of Mr. Moore in 1977. The Foundation supports a wide range of projects, including student bursaries, fellowships for artists and financial grants to various arts institutions. It operates from Perry Green, Hertfordshire and at the Henry Moore Institute in Leeds, England.

Reclining Figure 1969–70, a bronze sculpture, was stolen from the foundation at the Foundation's Perry Green base on 15 December, 2005. Thieves are believed to have lifted the 3.6 m long, 2 m high by 2 m wide, 2.1-tonne statue onto the back of a Mercedes lorry using a crane. Police investigating the theft believe it could have been stolen for scrap value.

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