56 Facts About Henry Moore


Henry Moore is best known for his semi-abstract monumental bronze sculptures which are located around the world as public works of art.


Henry Moore's forms are usually abstractions of the human figure, typically depicting mother-and-child or reclining figures.


Henry Moore's works are usually suggestive of the female body, apart from a phase in the 1950s when he sculpted family groups.


Henry Moore's forms are generally pierced or contain hollow spaces.


Henry Moore became well known through his carved marble and larger-scale abstract cast bronze sculptures, and was instrumental in introducing a particular form of modernism to the United Kingdom.


Henry Moore was born in Castleford, West Riding of Yorkshire, England, to Mary and Raymond Spencer Henry Moore.


Henry Moore's father was of Irish descent and became pit deputy and then under-manager of the Wheldale colliery in Castleford.


Henry Moore was an autodidact with an interest in music and literature.


Henry Moore was the seventh of eight children in a family that often struggled with poverty.


Henry Moore attended infant and elementary schools in Castleford, where he began modelling in clay and carving in wood.


Henry Moore professed to have decided to become a sculptor when he was eleven after hearing of Michelangelo's achievements at a Sunday School reading.


Henry Moore was the youngest man in the Prince of Wales' Own Civil Service Rifles regiment and was injured in 1917 in a gas attack, on 30 November at Bourlon Wood, during the Battle of Cambrai.


In Leeds, Henry Moore had access to the modernist works in the collection of Sir Michael Sadler, the university Vice-Chancellor, which had a pronounced effect on his development.


In 1921, Henry Moore won a scholarship to study at the Royal College of Art in London, along with Hepworth and other Yorkshire contemporaries.


Henry Moore later became uncomfortable with classically derived ideals; his later familiarity with primitivism and the influence of sculptors such as Constantin Brancusi, Jacob Epstein, Henri Gaudier-Brzeska and Frank Dobson led him to the method of direct carving, in which imperfections in the material and marks left by tools became part of the finished sculpture.


In 1924, Henry Moore won a six-month travelling scholarship which he spent in Northern Italy studying the great works of Michelangelo, Giotto di Bondone, Giovanni Pisano and several other Old Masters.


The reclining figure was to have a profound effect upon Henry Moore's work, becoming the primary motif of his sculpture.


On returning to London, Henry Moore undertook a seven-year teaching post at the Royal College of Art.


Henry Moore was required to work two days a week, which allowed him time to spend on his own work.


On 19 July 1929, Henry Moore married Irina Radetsky, a painting student at the Royal College.


Henry Moore's father was killed in the Russian Revolution and her mother was evacuated to Paris where she married a British army officer.


Irina found security in her marriage to Henry Moore and was posing for him.


In 1932, after six-year's teaching at the Royal College, Henry Moore took up a post as the Head of the Department of Sculpture at the Chelsea School of Art.


Henry Moore flirted with Surrealism, joining Paul Nash's modern art movement "Unit One", in 1933.


In 1934, Henry Moore visited Spain; he visited the cave of Altamira, Madrid, Toledo and Pamplona.


In 1936, Henry Moore joined a group of surrealist artists founded by Roland Penrose, and the same year was honorary treasurer to the organising committee of the London International Surrealist Exhibition.


In 1938, Henry Moore met Kenneth Clark for the first time.


At the outbreak of the Second World War the Chelsea School of Art was evacuated to Northampton and Henry Moore resigned his teaching post.


Henry Moore drew the people in the shelters as passively waiting the all-clear while miners aggressively worked the coal-faces.


Henry Moore's drawings helped to boost his international reputation, particularly in America where examples were included in the WAAC Britain at War exhibition which toured North America throughout the war.


Henry Moore was able to reuse the design in 1950 for a similar commission outside a secondary school for the new town of Stevenage.


Henry Moore exhibited Reclining Figure: Festival at the Festival of Britain in 1951, and in 1958 produced a large marble reclining figure for the UNESCO building in Paris.


The last three decades of Henry Moore's life continued in a similar vein; several major retrospectives took place around the world, notably a very prominent exhibition in the summer of 1972 in the grounds of the Forte di Belvedere overlooking Florence.


In 1964, for instance, Henry Moore was featured in the documentary "5 British Sculptors " by American filmmaker Warren Forma.


In 1979 Henry Moore became unexpectedly known in Germany when his sculpture Large Two Forms was installed in the forecourt of the German Chancellery in Bonn, which was the capital city of West Germany prior to German reunification in October 1990.


Henry Moore died on 31 August 1986 at his home in Perry Green.


Henry Moore's body was interred at the churchyard of St Thomas's Church.


Henry Moore's earlier reclining figures deal principally with mass, while his later ones contrast the solid elements of the sculpture with the space, not only round them but generally through them as he pierced the forms with openings.


The later, more abstract figures are often penetrated by spaces directly through the body, by which means Henry Moore explores and alternates concave and convex shapes.


When Henry Moore's niece asked why his sculptures had such simple titles, he replied,.


Henry Moore made many preparatory sketches and drawings for each sculpture.


Henry Moore placed great importance on drawing; in old age, when he had arthritis, he continued to draw.


At his home in Much Hadham, Henry Moore built up a collection of natural objects; skulls, driftwood, pebbles, rocks and shells, which he would use to provide inspiration for organic forms.


Henry Moore often refined the final full plaster shape and added surface marks before casting.


Henry Moore produced at least three significant examples of architectural sculpture during his career.


In 1953, he completed a four-part screen carved in Portland stone for the Time-Life Building in New Bond Street, London, and in 1955 Henry Moore turned to his first and only work in carved brick, Wall Relief at the Bouwcentrum in Rotterdam.


Yet Henry Moore had a direct influence on several generations of sculptors of both British and international reputation.


Henry Moore Foundation helps to preserve his legacy by supporting sculptors and creating exhibitions, its goal is to develop appreciation for visual arts.


Today, the Henry Moore Foundation manages the artist's former home at Perry Green in Hertfordshire as a visitor destination, with 70 acres of sculpture grounds as well as his restored house and studios.


The world's largest collection of Henry Moore's work is open to the public and is housed in the house and grounds of the 70-acre estate that was Henry Moore's home for 40 years in Perry Green in Hertfordshire.


Henry Moore presented 36 sculptures, as well as drawings, maquettes and other works to the Tate Gallery in 1978.


In 1948, Henry Moore won the International Sculpture Prize at the Venice Biennale.


Henry Moore turned down a knighthood in 1951 because he felt that the bestowal would lead to a perception of him as an establishment figure and that "such a title might tend to cut me off from fellow artists whose work has aims similar to mine".


Henry Moore was awarded the Companion of Honour in 1955, the Order of Merit in 1963 and Erasmus Prize in 1968.


Henry Moore was a member of both the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Philosophical Society.


Henry Moore was a trustee of both the National Gallery and Tate Gallery.