who is henry moore
During World War II, he was commissioned by the War Artists Advisory Committee to make drawings of people in London using underground stations as bomb shelters. The scratchy dark drawings powerfully capture the feelings of anxiety that people must have felt.
Can you see where Moore has used light-coloured crayon and dark watercolours to create the ghostly figure of Woman Seated in the Underground (1941)? The ink flows over the wax and soaks into the paper around it, leaving the light colours behind.
In August 1986 Henry Moore died in Perry Green.
International success characterised Moore’s career from the 1950s onward. In 1977 he established the Henry Moore Foundation to encourage wider enjoyment and opportunities in the arts.
“A sculptor is a person who is interested in the shape of things, a poet in words, a musician by sounds.”
“Art is not to do with the practical side of making a living. It’s to live a fuller human life.”
Moore was born in a small coal-mining town near Leeds in the north of England. He was the seventh child of Raymond Spencer Moore, a Lincolnshire man of Irish ancestry, and his wife, Mary Baker, who came from Staffordshire, in the English Midlands. Moore’s father was a coal miner, a self-educated man, a socialist, and a trade unionist.
Instruction at the Royal College of Art was less important to Moore than the opportunity to study the works in the museums of London—particularly in the British Museum, with its wide-ranging collection of ancient sculpture. Also close at hand was the fine collection of Auguste Rodin’s sculpture at the Victoria and Albert Museum, but Moore was already reacting against the European sculptural tradition and turning instead to “primitive” and archaic art. He was discovering for himself the power and beauty of Egyptian, Etruscan, and, later, pre-Columbian and African sculpture.
In 1921 Moore began the three-year diploma course at the Royal College of Art in London. A conflict soon developed between the academic course-work and his desire to follow his own direction in sculpture, based on knowledge gained from numerous visits to the British Museum. There he studied sculpture of many periods: prehistoric, Egyptian, Assyrian, Sumerian, Archaic Greek, as well as African art, and Oceanic; but he was most attracted to Mexican art, which was to become the major influence on his work during the 1920s. He managed a compromise, drawing and modeling from life during term time, with evenings and holidays free to pursue his own interests.
By 1946, with his first major retrospective exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, the school of modern British sculpture was firmly established, and Moore had become one of the most admired and influential abstract sculptors in the world.