With hundreds of sculptures on public display worldwide, Henry Moore is one of Britain’s most renowned sculptors. He was born in 1898 in Castleford, the son of a miner, and received an ex-servicemen’s grant to study at Leeds School of Art following active service during the First World War.
In Leeds he met Barbara Hepworth and both went to study at the prestigious Royal College of Art in London. The former Wakefield Art Gallery started to acquire Moore’s work in the 1930s. Both Hepworth and Moore were deeply inspired by their formative experiences of the Yorkshire landscape.
In 1977, Moore disovered that Wakefield was fundraising to buy one print from his series Stonehenge (1973) and promptly donated a complete set to the collection. This series can be seen in its entirety in the exhibition.
During the war, he became widely known for his drawings of Londoners sheltering in Underground stations and was commissioned by the War Artists Advisory Committee to record miners in Castleford, documenting the civilian contribution to the war effort. A selection of these drawings feature in this display.
Image above: Henry Moore, Pit Boys at Pit Head, 1942. Pencil, pen, ink, wax coloured crayon and watercolour wash. The Hepworth Wakefield (Wakefield Permanent Art Collection). Courtesy The Hepworth Wakefield