Sir Alan Bowness CBE

Tuesday, 2 March 2021

We are extremely sad to announce the death of Sir Alan Bowness CBE, former Director of the Henry Moore Foundation.


Born in Finchley, London he studied Modern Languages at Downing College, University of Cambridge and was a postgraduate student at The Courtauld Institute of Art, specialising in nineteenth-century French art.  After working for the Arts Council he taught at the Courtauld Institute, then went on to be appointed director of the Tate Gallery, 1980–88, a period that saw the creation of Tate Liverpool, the Clore Gallery at Millbank and the inauguration of the Turner Prize. He also paved the way for the creation of Tate St Ives.

After retiring from the Tate in 1988, Bowness became Director of the Henry Moore Foundation. He presided over a successful period for the organisation, during which The Henry Moore Foundation expanded its breadth and scope with the opening of the Henry Moore Institute Leeds and kick-started the foundation’s grants programme which to date has disbursed over £35m to arts organisations worldwide.

His reputation brought him many honours. He was made a CBE in 1976 and knighted in 1988. He is also an Honorary Fellow of the Royal College of Art, The Courtauld Institute of Art and Downing College, Cambridge.

The Henry Moore Foundation will always treasure the memory of Alan Bowness and the values for which he stood. We send our deepest sympathies to Sarah Hepworth-Nicholson and their family.