Castleford 1898 -
Much Hadham 1986
The English sculptor, graphic artist and drawer Henry Moore was born in Castleford on June 30, 1898. He was the youngest of seven children of a miner's family. He studies education in Castleford in 1915-16 and works as a teacher. He is drafted by the military in 1917. Henry Moore decides to study art in 1919 and enrolls at the Leeds College of Art. He receives a scholarship and continues his studies at the Royal College of Art in London from 1921 to 1924. In 1924 he begins teaching sculpting himself, in 1932 he changes to the Chelsea School of Art where he is head of the sculpting department until 1939.
The collections of the Tate Gallery and the Victoria and Albert Museum supply Moore with ample study material, in the British Museum he is especially impressed by Egyptian and Mexican sculptures. As early as in the 1920s his works become detached from traditional ideas of form, proportions and composition.
His first one-man show takes place in the Warren Gallery in London in 1928. In his works Henry Moore focuses on a few recurring motifs from an early point on, mostly depictions of "Mother and Child " and the "Reclining Figures". Most of his sculptures are cast in bronze, but he also uses wood and stone. Henry Moore tries to capture his figure's emotional expression in harmony with the object's materiality.
He goes on several journeys throughout his life, his first longer trip takes him to France and through Italy. He joins the artists group "7 & 5 Society" in 1930-31 and two years later the group "Unit One". As of 1937 he belongs to the circle of British surrealists.
In 1940 Henry Moore is appointed "Official War Artist". He makes the "Shelter Sketchbook", the drawings of people seeking shelter in the London underground make him popular. The first large retrospective takes place in the Museum of Modern Art in New York in 1946, the artist is awarded numerous prizes and honors.
Besides sculpting, he also makes an extensive graphic oeuvre with cycles such as the "Elephant Skull" album in 1969-70, or the "Sheep" album in 1972 and 1974. His sculptures become more and more monumental in his later years, Moore now prefers to exhibit them in open landscapes. They also display their exceptional effect in correspondence with the surrounding architecture.
Henry Moore is regarded as one of the most important British sculptors, at the same time counting among the most important artists of the 20th century.
Henry Moore dies in Much Hadham near Cambridge, his place of residence as of 1940, on August 31, 1986.