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Sculpting a new studio

Nick Myall
24 May 2017

A Major Exhibition on Henry Moore launches in new Studios & Gardens as the Henry Moore Foundation celebrates its 40th Anniversary

The Henry Moore Foundation, one of the world’s leading artist foundations, celebrates its 40th anniversary in 2017. To mark the anniversary, the Foundation will present the major exhibition Becoming Henry Moore (running until 22 October 2017) which will launch the redeveloped Henry Moore Studios & Gardens, including a new visitor centre and archive, designed by Hugh Broughton Architects.

The Foundation was founded by Henry Moore and his family in 1977 to encourage public appreciation of the visual arts and the work of Moore in particular. Henry Moore was supported early in his career by the generosity of individuals, and later in his life he wanted to impart this generosity by setting up his Foundation. In the 40 years since it was established, the Foundation has awarded over 2,000 grant awards totalling over £31m, with many leading contemporary artists benefitting from its support. The Foundation is unique in having an extensive grants programme supporting sculpture projects in the UK and internationally, a range of exhibitions and events at its two venues in Hertfordshire and Leeds, as well as taking care of collections and archives and supporting research to preserve Moore’s legacy and celebrate sculpture more widely.

To coincide with the anniversary, the Foundation will present Becoming Henry Moore, an exhibition that will give a fascinating insight into the influences at play in the mind of Britain’s foremost modern sculptor during his formative years from 1914 to 1930. The exhibition will also be presented at the Henry Moore Institute in Leeds (30 November 2017 – 18 February 2018).

The exhibition gives audiences the chance to view work by Moore from his student days in both Yorkshire and London, from his first ever commission: a World War One roll of honour for his secondary school, never seen outside his home town of Castleford, to his iconic Reclining Figure.

Becoming Henry Moore presents Moore’s sculptures and drawing alongside work of artists who inspired him. These include his British contemporaries Frank Dobson, Jacob Epstein, Barbara Hepworth and Leon Underwood; European avant-gardes Alexander Archipenko, Constantin Brâncu?i, Henri Gaudier-Brzeska and Pablo Picasso; as well as work by Michelangelo and Auguste Rodin. The exhibition also features examples of African, Aztec and Cycladic art from the British Museum that influenced Moore, and publications which he studied as a young artist.

Godfrey Worsdale, Director of the Henry Moore Foundation, said: “We are delighted to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Henry Moore Foundation with the launch of the newly developed Studios & Gardens. Moore established the Foundation to support the development of sculpture and inspire the public to engage with visual art. The Foundation continues his legacy with the same spirit of generosity that characterised Moore as an artist.”

The redeveloped Henry Moore Studios & Gardens, designed by Hugh Broughton Architects, will launch in April. The transformation includes the creation of a new spacious visitor centre with shop and café with views across the sculpture gardens; an interpretation space for education and events; meeting rooms and improved working spaces for the Foundation's staff. After years of planning, the entire Henry Moore Archive will soon be under one roof, in a state of the art purpose-designed development of Elmwood House, formerly a residential property. The new building features an oak reading room; six climate controlled rooms; and a further project space for the digitising, re-housing and conservation of materials.

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