This Living Hand: Edmund de Waal presents Henry Moore

19 May – 31 October 2021

Explore the role of touch in Henry Moore’s sculpture in This Living Hand, a new exhibition curated by acclaimed artist and author, Edmund de Waal.

Moore believed that ‘tactile experience is very important as an aesthetic dimension in sculpture’. Throughout his career he repeatedly emphasised the importance of experiencing sculpture haptically, and often returned to the hand as a subject in his sculpture and drawings, studying its expressive power and symbolic values as Auguste Rodin and Michelangelo, two of his favourite artists, had done before him.

In this innovative exhibition, you are invited to touch a collection of Moore’s work in bronze and stone, plus a series of original carved benches created by the curator from Hornton stone – one of Henry Moore’s favourite materials.

In addition, Edmund de Waal has curated a selection of artworks which express Moore’s fascination with the expressive power and symbolism of the hand: from Reclining Figure: Hand 1979 to the numerous two and three-dimensional studies of his own and other subjects’ hands – including the drawings and lithographs he made in 1978 of the winner of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry, Dorothy Hodgkin, who wanted her hands to be used as her portrait.

“To be able to touch Moore’s sculpture is a unique experience. It brings our haptic knowledge into connection with the hands of his King and Queen (1952-53), the patinated surface of Reclining Figure: Hand (1979). We see a Wunderkammer of objects that Moore kept close by him at home, objects of haptic sustenance and renewal. We see a life of reflection on how hands become sculpture. We are returned to what knowledge our own hands hold.”

Edmund de Waal



Entry to This Living Hand is included in in a ticket to Henry Moore Studios & Gardens. Located at the artist’s former home in Hertfordshire, the gardens showcase Moore’s monumental sculptures in the landscape where he worked for over four decades. His studios are open for you to explore the creative processes behind his well-known artworks and the family’s home houses Moore’s own art collection and the curiosities that often inspired his sculpture.

If you can book in advance via our Art Tickets page, please do. This helps us to plan our staffing and safely manage your visitor experience around site. We have introduced 30 minute entry slots, to help reduce queuing at our entrance and spread demand for our facilities.

Advance booking is open until 11pm the day before visiting, "On the day" tickets are not available online. 

If you cannot book in advance, we have tickets available at the ticket desk, but we recommend arriving after 12.30pm to avoid our busiest ticket slots.

Book tickets


Gardens, studios, exhibition and Aisled BarnStandardGift Aid 
(over 65, under 25, student, NHS and Univeral Credit recipients)
Child (5 - 18 years, under 5s are free)£7.35£8.10
Family (any 2 adults + 2 children)£35.50£39.10
Henry Moore FriendsFREEFREE
Carer accompanying a disabled visitorFREEFREE



By Florence Hallett

“For de Waal, Henry Moore’s appreciation of tactile experience – of hands – is the route to understanding his art... Hands mark the beginning of sculpture, representing the means of creation but also our earliest, most formative means of understanding the world beyond ourselves. ”

Read the full review on


Image gallery

Venue details

Venue address

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

Opening times

Opening times 2022:
1 April to 30 October 2022
Wednesdays to Sundays and Bank Holidays, 11am-5pm

Henry Moore Archive:
Open by appointment. Monday to Friday, 10am-4.30pm