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Henry Moore Drawings: The Art of Seeing

3 April – 27 October 2019

Release date: Thursday, 6 December 2018

Rebecca Land

  • By Rebecca Land
  • Henry Moore Institute
  • Head of Marketing & Communications

Henry Moore Studios & Gardens hosts the largest exhibition devoted to Henry Moore’s drawings in 40 years.

Presenting a long-overdue career survey with exclusive focus on drawing, The Art of Seeing includes over 150 works from the collections of the Henry Moore Foundation, Tate, the British Museum and other public and private collections.

Although Henry Moore is best known as a sculptor, he was an exceptionally talented and prolific draughtsman, producing a body of nearly 7,500 drawings over seven decades. It was in fact thanks to exhibitions of his Shelter drawings at the National Gallery in 1942 – which had been commissioned by the War Artists’ Advisory Committee chaired by Kenneth Clark – that Moore first received widespread recognition in Britain.

Moore believed that ‘drawing, even for people who cannot draw, even for people not trying to produce a good drawing, makes you look more intensely.’ Its eclecticism and ease of use made it an ideal medium for a wide range of purposes, from a tool to study natural forms or the work of other artists to means for the development of new sculpture and graphic work. However, for Moore drawing was not merely a means to an end, but also a medium for finished artwork in its own right.

The Art of Seeing explores the many different ways in which Moore used drawing. Starting with studies from life of the 1920s and ending with the rarely seen, but surprisingly fine late drawings of the 1970s and early 1980s, the display guides visitors through a continually expanding range of ideas, techniques and formal languages.

The exhibition includes a myriad of different types of drawings, from preparatory studies and ideas for sculpture and prints, to studies and copies of works by artists Moore admired (from Picasso to Rembrandt and the French Impressionists), studies of the human figure, animals, the landscape and the weather, portraits, designs for textiles and a large representation of the two series in which Moore chronicled wartime Britain, the Shelter and Coalmine drawings of 1940-42.

Particular emphasis will be given to the often experimental nature of Moore’s approach, including the adoption of what he called ‘sectional lines’ (a technique he developed to suggest three-dimensionality on a flat sheet of paper), and the use of photo-collage, photocopies and new mediums such as felt-tip and marker pens.

A richly illustrated book published by the Henry Moore Foundation, with texts by the exhibition’s curator, Sebastiano Barassi, and Sylvia Cox, Assistant Curator, accompanies the exhibition.

Visitor information

Wednesday 3 April to Sunday 27 October 2019
Open Wednesday to Sundays & Bank Holidays, 11am - 5pm
Henry Moore Studios & Gardens are easy to reach by car, and are approximately 15 minutes by taxi from Bishop’s Stortford Rail Station.

For further media information, please contact Rebecca Land, Head of Marketing & Communications
07946 510879 | rebecca@henry-moore.org

Venue details


Venue address

Henry Moore Studios & Gardens
Dane Tree House
Perry Green
Hertfordshire
SG10 6EE
United Kingdom
T: +44 (0)1279 843 333

Opening times

Closed for the winter.
Opening Wednesday 3 April 2019

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