Henry Moore (1898-1986)
Henry Moore was born in 1898 in a small coal-mining town in Yorkshire, his father a miner. Despite these humble beginnings, Moore decided to be an artist, and pursued his art education in Leeds and in London. At age 18, Moore enlisted, serving in the First World War, and then continued his studies in London when he returned from the war.
Early in his career Moore began to carve in wood as well as stone. The carvings from the 1920s and 1930s demonstrate Moore’s distinct regard for the human figure. In this period he began to exploit actual spaces in his sculpture that became integral to as well as characteristic of his articulation of form. With family groups and figures studies, Moore established the basic themes that would inspire him for the rest of his life.
By the 1940s, Moore’s international reputation was growing and his work was in high demand. During World War II, when it was impossible to sculpt, Moore turned to drawing. He produced a series of drawings, the so-called 'Shelter Drawings,' that depict Londoners seeking refuge in the subways during the long nights of bombing.
After the war, Moore’s large bronze castings became more prominent, though his approach remained that of a carver. Moore’s post war work is dominated by images of reclining female figures and the mother and child. Moore’s art also resumes his earliest themes, recumbent and seated women, and semiabstract. Throughout his career, Moore created works that combine poetic imagination and strength of form. Remaining true to his genius for giving clear expression to personal metaphor, Moore has produced much of the most significant sculpture of our time in a manner that evokes the archetypal form imagery of humankind’s earliest sculpture.
Public recognition continued to grow throughout the rest of his life, as he received countless commissions around the world, received many honors, and had numerous exhibitions. Moore is also known for producing one of the most formidable bodies of graphic work created by any artist in the history of Western art.
His works are in the permanent collection of virtually every important museum of modern and contemporary art including the Art Institute of Chicago, the Guggenheim Museum, the Museum of Modern Art, New York, Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery, National Galleries of Scotland, and The Tel Aviv Museum of Art.