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The Henry Moore Institute in Leeds is closed for refurbishment until Summer 2024.

1890 - 1899

Henry Moore’s birth

Henry Spencer Moore was born in Castleford, Yorkshire, on 30 July, the seventh of eight children.

1910 - 1919

Henry Moore wins a scholarship to attend Castleford Secondary School

The teachers at Castleford encourage Moore’s early artistic enthusiasm.


Elsie, Moore’s younger sister, dies aged twelve


World War I begins

Striding Figure

c.1914 (CGM X1), linocut.

Moore’s first known print is a bookplate mounted onto the half-title page of a biography of Albrecht Dürer.


Completes teacher training

Moore becomes a student teacher at his old school in Castleford, where he feels too young to control his students.


Castleford Secondary School Roll of Honour

c.1916 (LH X8), oak, Castleford Academy, Castleford.

Moore’s first commission and ‘first serious wood carving’ to commemorate boys from his old school leaving for war.

Listen to Moore’s memories about carving the Roll of Honour

Moore enlists in the Civil Service Rifles at the age of 18


Gas attack

After recovering from a gas attack in hospital, Moore returns to fight in France, shortly before peace is declared.


Moore takes pottery classes, run by his school art teacher Miss Gostick

Leeds College of Art

Moore secures a place at Leeds College of Art with an ex-servicemen’s grant. He goes on to complete the two-year drawing course in a single year.

1920 - 1929

Leeds College of Art

Moore begins studying sculpture at Leeds College of Art, where he is the only full-time sculpture student.

Decorated Plate

c.1919-21 (LH X11), earthenware with enamel glazed decoration, Leeds Museums and Galleries (Leeds Art Fund).


c.1920 (LH 0d), sycamore wood, private collection.

This carving in sycamore wood is one of the the earliest known sculptures by Moore, undertaken while he was a student at Leeds College of Art. It demonstrates Moore’s interests in African art and early experimentation with carving.


Receives scholarship

Moore is awarded a scholarship to study sculpture at the Royal College of Art.

Dancing Figures

c.1921 (CGM X3), linocut.

An idea for an architectural frieze.


Visits Paris

Moore visits Paris for the first time with his friend Raymond Coxon, and is particularly struck by paintings by Paul Cézanne in the Pellerin Collection.

Move to Norfolk

Moore’s family move to Norfolk due to his father’s ill-health; he dies later in the year.


1922 (LH 2), marble, The Henry Moore Foundation: gift of the artist 1977.

Despite being one of Moore’s earliest carvings, the marble is cut with crisp definition depicting tense limbs as if the dog could pounce at any moment.

Mother and Child

1922 (LH 3), Portland stone, current whereabouts unknown.

Moore’s first mother and child, a theme that would preoccupy him throughout his career.

Standing Nude Girl, One Arm Raised

1922 (HMF 78), chalk, pen and ink, crayon, wash, The Henry Moore Foundation: gift of the artist 1977.

At this time, Moore begins to use experimental techniques while drawing from life; this is one of the earliest instances of his combination of pen, ink, chalk and wash.


Charles Rutherston

Charles Rutherston (brother of the principal of the Royal College of Art) buys two of Moore’s carvings, becoming his first patron, and invites the young artist to see his extensive collection in Bradford.

Head of the Virgin

1922 (LH 6), marble, The Henry Moore Foundation: acquired 1988.

In opposition to the RCA’s curriculum, Moore carves this copy of a Madonna from the Victoria & Albert Museum directly rather than copying it with a pointing machine.

Head of a Girl

1923 (LH 15), bronze, terracotta.

One of Moore’s few modelled rather than carved sculptures in the 1920s.


First group exhibition at the Redfern Gallery, London

First group exhibition at the Redfern Gallery, London, alongside fellow students at the Royal College of Art Edward Burra, Barbara Hepworth, Percy Horton, Roland Vivian Pitchforth and Charles Tunnicliffe.

Granted a travelling scholarship

After graduating, Moore is granted a travelling scholarship to see the work of the Old Masters in Italy. His trip is delayed until 1925 as he acts as sculpture tutor until a replacement can be found.


View of the Arno, Florence

1925 (HMF 356), pen and ink, chalk, wash, The Henry Moore Foundation: gift of the artist 1977.

Moore travels to the river Arno in Tuscany, Italy, to experience the Old Masters.

Sculpture tutor at Royal College of Art

Moore works as a part-time sculpture tutor at the Royal College of Art, London. He holds the post until 1931.

Woman with Upraised Arms

1924-25 (LH 23), Hopton Wood stone, The Henry Moore Foundation: gift of the artist 1977.

Moore’s first example of carving through the stone, foreshadowing his later use of the hole to create a formal contrast between the solid and void.


Exhibits in a group exhibition at St George’s Gallery, London

Head of a Woman

1926 (LH 36), cast concrete, The Hepworth Wakefield (Wakefield Permanent Art Collection).

Moore begins creating sculpture in concrete, which at the time is largely confined to architecture.


Head and Shoulders

1927 (LH 48), verde di Prato, current whereabouts unknown.

Described as Moore’s first masterpiece by the dealer Dr Heinz Roland.


1927 (LH 41), cast concrete, current whereabouts unknown.

The first of twelve masks created over the next three years inspired by Mexican and African masks.

Moore at 3 Grove Studios, Hammersmith

In the late 1920s Moore worked at a studio in Hammersmith.

Listen to Moore’s memories of 3 Grove Studios

The Whitworth Art Gallery

Study of a Seated Woman 1925 (HMF 326), chalk, brush and ink, The Whitworth, University of Manchester: acquired 1927.

The Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester, buys four of Moore’s drawings, the first acquisition of his work by a public museum.


First solo exhibition

First solo exhibition at the Warren Gallery, London, where works are bought by the illustrious artists Jacob Epstein, Augustus John and Henry Lamb.

West Wind Relief

1928-29 (LH 58), Portland stone, London Regional Transport.

Moore’s first public commission is for the headquarters of the London Underground.


Marries Irina Radetzky

Moore marries Irina Radetzky, a painting student at the Royal College of Art. They move together to Hampstead, a hub of the arts.

Reclining Figure

1929 (LH 59), brown Hornton stone, Leeds Museums and Galleries (Leeds Art Gallery). Bought with the aid of a grant from the Board of Education and the Victoria and Albert Museum Purchase Grant Fund, 1941.

Inspired by the Pre-Columbian Chacmool reclining figure, which Moore described as ‘about as good a piece of sculpture as I know’ (unpublished notes in the HMF Archive).

1930 - 1939

Venice Biennale

The British Pavilion at the Venice Biennale exhibits Moore’s work alongside fellow British sculptors Jacob Epstein and John Skeaping and painters Augustus John, Wilson Steer and Walter Sickert.

The first major critical assessment

The first major critical assessment of Moore’s work is written by R.H. Wilenski for the highly respected Apollo: The International Magazine of Art and Antiques.

Henry and Irina in the studio at Parkhill Road, Hampstead

Reclining Figure

1930 (LH 85 ironstone), Robert and Lisa Sainsbury Collection: University of East Anglia, Norwich.

Carved from a stone found on the beach while on holiday to Norfolk with Barbara Hepworth and John Skeaping.

Girl with Clasped Hands

1930 (LH 93), Cumberland alabaster, British Council Collection.

Inspired by Sumerian figures which often feature enlarged heads and clasped hands as a means of emphasising their humanity.

Elected to the 7 and 5 Society

Moore is elected to the 7 and 5 Society, an art group of seven painters and five sculptors originally formed in 1919.


Second solo exhibition at The Leicester Galleries

Second solo exhibition at The Leicester Galleries, London, where the Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe, Hamburg, acquires the first Moore sculpture for a museum, Headc.1930 (LH 88a), ironstone.

Leaves London

The Moores leave London and move to Jasmine Cottage in Kent, allowing more space.

Resigns from his teaching post

Moore resigns from his teaching post at the Royal College of Art after a vicious press campaign against him backed by colleagues.


1931 (LH 99), blue Hornton stone, private collection.

Moore described this venture into abstraction as an important stage in the development of his sculpture.

Figures, Sculptures

1931 (CGM 1), woodcut.

Moore makes two woodcuts in 1931, his only works in the medium, and he doesn’t explore printmaking again until 1939.


Head of Sculpture

Moore becomes Head of Sculpture at Chelsea School of Art, holding the post until the school relocates at the outbreak of World War II.

Christmas concert

Moore performs as an ancient Greek torso in the staff performance at the Chelsea School of Art Christmas concert.


1932 (LH 119), African wonderstone, wood base, The Trustees of the Tate Gallery, London: presented by the Friends of the Tate Gallery 1960.

The abstraction of this bust indicates the influences of Hans Arp and the Surrealists on Moore during the 1930s.

Mother and Child

1932 (LH 121), green Hornton stone, Robert and Lisa Sainsbury Collection, University of East Anglia, Norwich.

Moore polished the green Hornton stone, which emphasised the form of the sculpture.


Giacometti, Zadkine and Lipchitz

Moore meets the influential avant-garde sculptors Alberto Giacometti, Ossip Zadkine and Jacques Lipchitz in Paris.

Artists International Association

Moore joins the Artists International Association, which pledges to fight fascism and imperialist war.

Moore working in his studio at Parkhill Road, Hampstead

Ideas for Sculpture

c.1933 (HMF 1331), pencil, pen and ink, crayon, The Henry Moore Foundation: gift of the artist 1977.

Moore used drawing as a tool to develop and eliminate ideas for sculptures, often using repetition on single pages.


Unit One

Moore exhibits and publishes a book with Unit One, co-founded with Paul Nash, Ben Nicholson and Barbara Hepworth the previous year to promote modern art, architecture and design.

The first monograph

The first monograph on Moore by Herbert Read is published by Zwemmer’s book shop.

A trip to Spain

Henry and Irina make their only trip to Spain. They won’t return to the country after the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War in 1936.

Hole and Lump

1934 (LH 154a), elmwood, The Henry Moore Foundation: gift of the artist 1979.

Moore began making abstract holes in his sculpture in 1933 after admiring his friend Barbara Hepworth’s work.

Square Form

1934 (LH 154b), Burgundy stone, The Henry Moore Foundation: gift of Mrs Irina Moore 1979.

Square Form indicates Moore’s friendship with Ben Nicholson who at this time was making white reliefs. The geometric shape represents architecture although the incisions refer to the human body.



The Moores move to a house called Burcroft in Kent. A modern bungalow rather than a cottage, the house was much lighter, and Moore described the garden as encouraging his interest in making sculpture for natural landscapes.

Small-scale sculptures

Moore starts making sculptures from small-scale models in plaster or clay rather than drawings.

Zwemmer’s Gallery

Exhibits in the last 7 and 5 Society exhibition at Zwemmer’s Gallery.


1935 (LH 161), white marble, Art Institute of Chicago: gift of Mr and Mrs Joel Starrels.

A rare purely abstracted sculpture.


Two Forms

1934 (LH 153), Pynkado wood, The Museum of Modern Art, New York: purchase Sir Michael Sadler Fund, 1937.

Two Forms is acquired by the Museum of Modern Art, New York, after being included in their major exhibition Cubism and Abstract Art.

International Surrealist Exhibition

Moore sits on the committee of the International Surrealist Exhibition at the New Burlington Galleries, London, exhibiting three drawings and four sculptures.

The Leicester Galleries

The Leicester Galleries, London, holds a solo exhibition of Moore’s work.

The Spanish Civil War begins

Reclining Figure

1935-36 (LH 162), elmwood, Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, New York: Room of Contemporary Art Fund, 1939.

The first of six major reclining figures in elmwood.


Visits Picasso’s studio

Moore visits Pablo Picasso’s studio with André Breton, Paul Eluard, Max Ernst and Alberto Giacometti, seeing Guernica in progress.

Circle: International Survey of Constructive Art

Circle: International Survey of Constructive Art includes texts by Moore at a time when he was close both to the Constructivists and their opposition, the Surrealists.

Reclining Figure

1937 (LH 178), Hopton Wood stone, Fogg Art Museum, Harvard University Art Museum, gift of Lois Orswell.

One of Moore’s most abstracted reclining figures demonstrating influence from the European Surrealists.

Stringed Relief

1937 (LH 182), beechwood and string, bronze and string.

The first of a series of stringed sculptures inspired by mathematical models in the Science Museum and exhibiting constructivist tendencies.

‘Degenerate Art’ exhibition

The Nazi government holds the ‘Degenerate Art’ exhibition in Munich.


International Exhibition of Abstract Art

Moore’s work is included in the International Exhibition of Abstract Art at the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam.

Mother and Child

1938 (LH 186), plaster and string, lead and string, bronze and string.

A maquette that was cast into lead and later bronze, here the string connects the figures’ two heads and the infant’s mouth with the mother’s breasts.

Recumbent Figure

1938 (LH 191), green Hornton stone, The Trustees of the Tate Gallery, London: presented by the Contemporary Arts Society, 1939.

Made for the terrace of a country house to bridge the passage from the architecture to the landscape.


Moves back to London

Moore and Irina move back to London to No.7 Mall Studios, Hampstead.

Spanish Prisoner

c.1939 (CGM 3), lithograph.

Moore’s first lithograph is intended to raise money for Republican soldiers who had fled France and been interned but it would never be editioned.

The Spanish Civil War ends

World War II begins in Europe with the invasion of Poland

1940 - 1949

Irina and Henry leave London

Irina and Henry leave London for Hertfordshire after Mall Studios is damaged during The Blitz. At first they rent half of Hoglands, before buying the whole house.

The Helmet

1939-40 (LH 212), lead, bronze.

Moore’s first enclosure of an interior within exterior form, a development of the mother and child sculptures.

Three Points

1939-40 (LH 211), lead, cast iron, bronze.

The earliest example of a series of abstract sculptures representing the tension of points almost touching.

Seated Figures: Ten Studies of Mother and Child

1940 (HMF 1513a), pencil, wax crayon, watercolour wash, pen and ink, gouache, The Henry Moore Foundation: purchased 1985.

Similar in composition to some of Moore’s 1943 maquettes for a Madonna and Child for a church in Northampton completed in 1944.


Official War Artist

Moore becomes an Official War Artist after showing his shelter drawings to his friend and chairman of the War Artists’ Advisory Committee, Kenneth Clark. Out of sympathy for the shelterers, Moore did not make any direct sketches underground, instead taking descriptive notes on the back of an envelope before returning to his studio to draw from memory.

Study for ‘Sleeping Figures’ 1940-41 (HMF 1651), pencil, charcoal, wax crayon, coloured crayon, watercolour, wash, pen and ink, The Henry Moore Foundation: gift of Irina Moore 1977.

First retrospective exhibition

Moore’s first retrospective opens at Temple Newsam, Leeds.

Trustee of the Tate Gallery

Moore becomes a Trustee of the Tate Gallery, holding the position until 1948 then again from 1949 to 1956.

Pink and Green Sleepers

1941 (HMF 1845), pencil, wax crayon, coloured crayon, chalk, watercolour, wash, pen and ink, The Trustees of the Tate Gallery, London: presented by the War Artists’ Advisory Committee 1946.

The greens and blues of the figures and the close composition evocatively portray the dank, crowded conditions of the underground.

In December, Japan attacks Pearl Harbor causing the USA to enter the war


Coalminers near Castleford

Moore is commissioned by the War Artists’ Advisory Committee to draw the coalminers near Castleford, where he can draw in situ.

Miners Pushing Tubs

1942 (HMF 1933), pencil, wax crayon, coloured crayon, watercolour, wash, pen and ink, The Henry Moore Foundation: gift of the artist 1977.

A page from Moore’s Coalmining Sketchbook.

Appointed to the Art Panel

Moore is appointed to the Art Panel of the Council for the Encouragement of Music and the Arts.

Crowd Looking at a Tied-Up Object

1942 (HMF 2064), pencil, wax crayon, charcoal (rubbed), watercolour, wash, pen and ink, The British Museum, London: from the Estate of Lord Clark.

The shrouded object and barren landscape bear similarities to Surrealism and Giorgio de Chirico’s metaphysical landscapes.

The mass murder of Jewish people at Auschwitz begins


The Buchholz Gallery

The Buchholz Gallery, New York, holds Moore’s first solo exhibition outside the UK.

Out of Chaos

Jill Craigie films Henry Moore in the London Underground for the film Out of Chaos, showing Moore and other war artists at work.

Textile Design

1943 (HMF 2139), pencil, wax crayon, coloured crayon, watercolour, The Henry Moore Foundation: gift of the artist 1977.

Commissioned to create designs for textiles, which were fabricated into head scarves and other fashion items and soft furnishings, Moore initially made a series of ‘textile design’ drawings.

Madonna and Child

1943 (LH 224), terracotta, bronze (sketch model for LH 226).

After a two-year break from making sculpture during the war, this is one of ten maquettes for a commission for a Madonna and Child in a church in Northampton.

The Allied forces invade Italy


The Allied invasion of France, known as D-Day

Moore’s mother, Mary, dies

Madonna and Child

1943-44 (LH 226), Hornton stone, St. Matthew’s Church, Northampton: gift of Canon J Rowden Hussey.

Commissioned for St Matthew’s Church, Northampton, this is the first piece that translates Moore’s mother and child theme to a religious subject.

Family Group

1944 (LH 231), terracotta, bronze.

One of a series of maquettes for Moore’s commission for Harlow New Town (Harlow Family Group 1954-55).


Honorary degree

Leeds University gives Moore an honorary degree, the first of over 20 he will receive from universities internationally.

Nikolaus Pevsner

Nikolaus Pevsner proclaims Moore ‘the greatest British sculptor now alive’.

Three Standing Figures

1945 (LH 258), terracotta, bronze, plaster, clay.

The maquette for the larger work in Darley Dale stone positioned in Battersea Park in 1948. The drapery and apprehensive poses reference Moore’s ‘shelter drawings’.

The first atomic bombs are dropped in Japan ending World War II


New Towns Act

The New Towns Act plans an ambitious programme for building eleven new towns in the UK.

Mary, Henry and Irina’s only child, is born

Reclining Figure

1945-46 (LH 263), elmwood.

Moore felt this piece had a richer three-dimensional sense than any of his previous large wood carvings.

Studies of the Artist’s Child

1946 (HMF 2359), pencil, Arts Council Collection, South Bank Centre, London.

Moore created a number of drawings with repeated studies of his daughter throughout her childhood.


Royal Fine Art Commission

Moore is elected a member of the Royal Fine Art Commission, acting until 1971.

Drawing for Wood Sculpture

1947 (HMF 2403), pencil, wax crayon, watercolour wash, pen and ink, gouache, The Henry Moore Foundation: acquired 1985.

This sketchbook drawing points to Moore’s combined interests in natural materials, such as wood and bone, and the human form.


Venice Biennale

Moore is awarded the International Sculpture Prize at the Venice Biennale where he represents Britain alongside J.M.W. Turner.

Three Standing Figures

1947-48 (LH 268), Darley Dale stone, Borough of Wandsworth, London (gift of the Contemporary Art Society 1948).

Commissioned for the first open air exhibition in Battersea Park, where Moore sits on the organising committee.

Family Group

1948 (HMF 2504), pencil, wax crayon, watercolour wash, pen and ink, brush and ink, gouache, Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto: Purchase, 1974.

Amongst the largest of Moore’s drawings, this ‘sectional line drawing’ emphasises the three-dimensional forms of the figures.

The National Health Service and National Insurance are launched in the UK

The Cold War begins


Moore is re-elected as a Trustee of the Tate Gallery, holding the post until 1956

Family Group

1948-49 (LH 269 cast 1), bronze, The Barclay School, Stevenage.

Scaled-up from a maquette for an unrealised commission for a school in Impington, the first cast of Family Group was created for Barclay Secondary School in Stevenage, a town created under the New Towns Act.

NATO is established

1950 - 1959

Moore is offered a knighthood but refuses the honour

Moore’s secretary helps in his experimental garden foundry at Perry Green

Helmet Head No. 1

1950 (LH 279), bronze, lead.

Moore’s ‘Helmet Head’ sculptures continue his explorations of an internal form enclosed by an external form.

The Korean War begins


BBC documentary

Moore is the subject of a BBC documentary titled Henry Moore, the first ever film on a living artist, to coincide with his commission for the Festival of Britain.

Visit the BBC website to view a selection of clips from the programme

First Tate retrospective

Tate Gallery holds their first retrospective of Moore’s work to coincide with the Festival of Britain.

Visit to Greece

Henry and Irina visit Greece, where Moore is struck by the light and influenced by the drapery of classical sculptures.

Anthony Caro begins working as Moore’s assistant

Reclining Figure: Festival

1951 (LH 293), plaster, bronze.

The Festival of Britain Committee requests a family group but Moore provides a reclining figure, which he describes as ‘the first sculpture in which I succeeded in making form and space sculpturally inseparable’.

Wrapped Madonna and Child: Night Time

c.1951 (HMF 2714), pencil, wax crayon, watercolour wash, pen and ink, The Israel Museum; bequest of Charlotte Bergman, Jerusalem, to American Friends of the Israel Museum.

Accompanying a day-time version and reflecting earlier influences of Surrealism.


Princess Elizabeth becomes Queen Elizabeth II after the death of King George VI

Time/Life screen

1952-53 (LH 344), Portland stone, Pearl Assurance, Time/Life Building, London.

Moore is first commissioned to create a reclining figure for the Time/Life building on Bond Street, London, before being approached to create this screen which was integrated into the façade of the building.

Double Standing Figure

1950 (LH 291), is displayed at the entrance to the British Pavilion at the Venice Biennale, which houses works by eight younger sculptors. In the catalogue essay Moore is described as ‘in some sense the parent of them all’.


São Paulo Biennial

Moore is awarded the International Sculpture Prize at the São Paulo Biennial, Brazil.

King and Queen

1952-53 (LH 350), plaster, bronze.

The idea for King and Queen came when Moore was playing with wax which transformed into the ‘pan-like’ head of the king.

The structure of DNA is discovered


Visits Henraux quarry, Italy

Moore travels to Querceta in the Carrara mountains, Italy, for the art dealer Curt Valentin’s funeral. He visits the Henraux marble quarry for the first time, which prompts a new working relationship.

Warrior with Shield

1953-54 (LH 360), plaster, bronze.

Moore’s first single male figure in sculpture since he was a student is inspired by a stone found in his garden reminding him of the stump of a leg.

Large Upright Internal/External Form

1953-54 (LH 297a), polystyrene, bronze.

The external form protects an internal form as developed in Moore’s mother and child and helmet sculptures.


Becomes a Trustee of The National Gallery

Moore is elected as a Trustee of the National Gallery, holding the post until 1974.

Harlow Family Group

1954-55 (LH 364), Hadene stone, Harlow Art Trust, Harlow.

The first commission for Harlow New Town, the family group was chosen to represent the young families living in the town.

Queen’s Birthday Honours List

Moore is appointed a Member of the Order of the Companions of Honour in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List, a significant accolade only awarded to 50 people at one time.

Wall Relief

1955 (LH 375), brick, Bouwcentrum, Rotterdam.

Moore’s only work in brick is commissioned for an extension to the Bouwcentrum, Rotterdam’s Building Centre.


UNESCO commission

Moore begins working on ideas for a sculpture for the UNESCO headquarters in Paris. The final work, UNESCO Reclining Figure, would be unveiled in 1958.

Upright Motive No.1: Glenkiln Cross

1955-56 (LH 377), plaster, bronze.

Moore created thirteen upright motive maquettes and this was the first of five to be enlarged. The name comes from Sir William Keswick’s estate near Dumfries, Scotland, where the first bronze cast was for many years sited on a hillside high above the reservoir.


A touring exhibition of Moore’s work from Canada and New Zealand reaches South Africa drawing 21,500 visitors

Seated Figure against Curved Wall

1956-57 (LH 422), plaster, bronze.

An early example of Moore placing figures on steps or against walls.


UNESCO Reclining Figure

1957-58 (LH 416), Roman travertine marble, Unesco, Paris.

Moore spends time in Italy to create this monumental sculpture for the UNESCO headquarters in Paris, his largest work to date.

Moore visits Auschwitz to judge a competition for a memorial at the site

Draped Seated Woman

1957-58 (LH 428 cast 2), bronze, London Borough of Tower Hamlets.

After a trip to Greece in 1951, Moore adopted the use of drapery to emphasise the form of his figures as inspired by ancient Greek art.

Originally installed in the Clifford Estate in Tower Hamlets, London, this cast of Draped Seated Woman is now on display at Canary Wharf, London.

Thirteen Standing Figures

1958 (CGM 41), lithograph.

This work relates to Moore’s sculptural output, such as Three Standing Figures 1953 (LH 322), and to his textile designs from the 1940s.


Touring exhibition in Poland

Two Piece Reclining Figure No.1

1959 (LH 457), plaster, bronze.

Two Piece Reclining Figure No.1 epitomises Moore’s interest in the body-as-landscape metaphor.

The Guggenheim Museum, New York, opens in Frank Lloyd Wright’s striking building

1960 - 1969

The Whitechapel Art Gallery, London, holds an exhibition of Moore’s work

Helmet Head No. 3

1960 (LH 467), plaster, bronze.

Created 20 years after his first helmet work, the angles in this sculpture demonstrate Moore’s interests in both organic and geometric forms.


Alistair Gordon writes for the Connoisseur magazine

‘It is difficult for us in Britain to understand … just how much Moore is revered abroad: he is considered quite simply as the greatest living sculptor‘.

Exhibition at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Edinburgh

Large Standing Figure: Knife Edge

1961 (LH 482a), plaster, bronze.

The thin, sharp forms represent a stylistic change, inspired by a bone which, along with plasticine additions for the head and base, formed the maquette.

The Berlin Wall is built to separate East and West Berlin


Moore visits New York

Moore travels to New York to look at the site of a possible commission at the Lincoln Center for a sculpture within a large pool. He decides on a two-part reclining figure, which is unveiled in 1965.

Large Slow Form

1962 (LH 502a), plaster, bronze.

A single right angle is repeated five times, reminding Moore of the slow movement of a tortoise.


Order of Merit

Moore is awarded the Order of Merit, reserved for only 24 people of outstanding distinction.

Locking Piece

1962-63 (LH 515), bronze, fibreglass.

Inspired by two interlocked stones Moore found, this work also points to his interest in joints and bones.

President John F Kennedy is assassinated in Dallas, USA


Forte dei Marmi, Italy

Moore buys a house near the Carrara marble quarries in Forte dei Marmi, Italy, prompting a resurgence in carved works in marble.

Two Forms

1964 (LH 529), white marble, current whereabouts unknown.

Using the traditional marble of Carrara, Two Forms refers to classicism.

Nelson Mandela is sentenced to life imprisonment in South Africa


Reclining Figure

1963-65 (LH 519), bronze, Lincoln Center, New York: gift of Mr and Mrs Albert List.

Moore visits New York to install Reclining Figure at the Lincoln Center.

Knife Edge Two Piece

1962-65 (LH 516 cast 2), bronze, City of Westminster.

Sited outside the Houses of Parliament, London, since its creation.


1965-66 (LH 528 cast 1), bronze, Würth Collection.

Commissioned for the Times offices in London.


Nuclear Energy

1964-66 (LH 526 cast 1), bronze, University of Chicago: provided by the trustees of the B.F. Ferguson Monument Fund, 1967.

Commissioned to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the first controlled nuclear chain reaction.

Double Oval

1966 (LH 560), plaster, bronze.

Double Oval takes Moore’s abstract hole to a monumental scale.

Alberto Giacometti dies


Mother and Child

1967 (LH 573), rosa aurora marble, The Henry Moore Foundation: gift of Mrs Irina Moore 1977.

Unlike other abstracted two-part mother and child sculptures, here the maternal and infant elements touch, indicating their interdependency.

Bruce Nauman’s Henry Moore Bound to Fail responds to contemporary artists’ criticism of Moore


Large Totem Head

1968 (LH 577), plaster, bronze.

The title and the form refer to Western Sudanese Dogon masks that were included in the Surrealist magazine, Minotaure that Moore contributed to in 1933.

Moore’s 70th birthday

Moore’s 70th birthday is marked by a retrospective exhibition at the Tate Gallery.

Awarded the Erasmus Prize

Moore is awarded the Erasmus Prize for achievements in subjects not covered by the Nobel Prize.


Elephant Skull

1969 (HMF 3187), ballpoint pen, charcoal, chinagraph.

From a series of drawings based on an elephant skull in Moore’s studio, also the subject of a series of etchings.

The first man on the moon

NASA makes the first manned moon landing.

1970 - 1979

Moore installs a printing press in his studio at Perry Green

Oval with Points

1968-70 (LH 596), plaster, bronze.

The largest of a number of works that feature points almost touching, creating a dynamic tension.


Moore is elected Honorary Fellow of the Royal Institute of British Architects

Large Square Form with Cut

1969-71 (LH 599), Rio Serra marble, City of Prato, Italy.

At over five metres high, this sculpture was constructed in pieces at the Henraux marble works, Querceta. Moore described it as like building a cathedral.


Sheep Piece

1971-72 (LH 627 cast 0), bronze, The Henry Moore Foundation: gift of the artist 1977.

Named after Moore placed the sculpture in a field in his estate that he leased to a farmer, where it became a favoured shelter of the sheep.

Sheep with Lambs at the Edge of a Wood

1972 (HMF 3336), ballpoint pen, Waddington Galleries, London.

From Moore’s Sheep Sketchbook.

Forte di Belvedere exhibition, Florence

Moore becomes the first living artist to be awarded an exhibition at the Forte di Belvedere, Florence, which is opened by Princess Margaret.

The Henry Moore Trust

The Henry Moore Trust is set up to allow for Moore’s estate at Perry Green to become a sculpture park after his death. Much of the land and the sculptures on it are transferred to the Trust.


Madame Tussauds, London, celebrates Moore’s career with a waxwork

Hill Arches

1973 (LH 636 cast 0), bronze, The Henry Moore Foundation: gift of the artist 1977.

Originally conceived to be placed on a hill in Perry Green, a position later occupied by Large Reclining Figure 1984, which was bigger and could be seen better from afar.

Pablo Picasso dies

Divided Landscape

1973 (CGM 256), lithograph in black.

From a series of lithographs inspired by the poems of W.H. Auden for an exhibition at the British Museum.


Goslar Warrior

1973-74 (LH 641 cast 1), bronze, City of Goslar.

Moore was commissioned to produce a work for Goslar, Germany, after being nominated for a prestigious art prize by the town; he selected this work, previously titled The Falling Warrior, and changed its name for the location in the Imperial Palace Garden.

Art Gallery of Ontario

The Henry Moore Centre opens at the Art Gallery of Ontario following Moore’s gift of 101 sculptures, 57 drawings and 200 prints.


Reclining Figure: Bone

1975 (LH 643), travertine marble, The Henry Moore Foundation: gift of the artist 1977.

Bone and other found materials often inspired Moore’s sculptures and sometimes formed the basis of maquettes. Here bone inspires both the form and the choice of white, porous marble.

General Franco dies and democracy is restored to Spain

Barbara Hepworth, Moore’s long-time friend, dies


The Imperial War Museum holds an exhibition of Moore’s war drawings

Reclining Mother and Child

1975-76 (LH 649), plaster, bronze.

A rare combination of Moore’s favoured themes: the mother and child and the reclining figure.


Henry Moore Foundation is founded

The Henry Moore Foundation is set up to administer the sale and exhibition of Moore’s works, based in his estate in Perry Green.

Mirror Knife Edge

1977 (LH 714 cast 1), bronze, National Gallery of Art, Washington DC: Gift of the Morris and Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation, 1978.

An enlarged version of Knife Edge Two Piece 1962-65, reconfigured in a mirror image for the extension to the National Gallery in Washington.

The Pompidou Centre opens in Paris


The Tate Gift

Moore donates 36 sculptures and a complete set of his graphics to Tate after first discussing the gift in 1967.

Moore’s 80th birthday

Exhibitions are held at Tate, the Serpentine Gallery and City Art Gallery Bradford to celebrate Moore’s 80th birthday.

Mother and Child

1978 (LH 754), stalactite, The Henry Moore Foundation: acquired 1986.

Moore’s only work in the rare, crystalline material stalactite is a focus on the leg area of his 1972-73 work Four Piece Reclining Figure.

Reclining Figure: Sunset

1978 (HMF 78(21)), charcoal, watercolour, ballpoint pen, gouache, collaged drawing, The Henry Moore Foundation: acquired 1987.

This drawing reflects Moore’s desire to have his sculptures displayed outside, preferably in natural landscapes.


Margaret Thatcher is elected the UK’s first female Prime Minister

Upright Motive No.9

1979 (LH 586a), plaster, bronze.

The truncated forms bear a resemblance to North-West American totem poles, while the work is also voluptuous and sensual, alluding to the ‘universal shapes’ which Moore associated with the female body.

Three Forms Vertebrae

1978 (LH 580a), bronze, City Centre Plaza, Dallas.

This enlarged and rearranged version of Three Piece Sculpture: Vertebrae 1968-69 was commissioned for the plaza outside Dallas City Hall.

1980 - 1989

Victoria & Albert Museum

Eight tapestries created from Moore’s recent drawings are exhibited at the Victoria & Albert Museum, London.

Moore presents his childhood town Castleford with Working Model for Draped Reclining Figure

The Arch

1979-80 (LH 503c), travertine marble, The Department of the Environment, London: gift of the Henry Moore Foundation 1980, for permanent siting in Kensington Gardens.

After the success of the display of sculptures in Kensington Gardens for Moore’s eightieth birthday, this work was donated for permanent display.


The British Council exhibition

The British Council stages the largest ever exhibition of Moore’s work with almost 600 works touring to Madrid, Lisbon and Barcelona, drawing over 250,000 visitors.

Large Spindle Piece

1981 (LH 593a), travertine marble, Hotel Intercontinental, Miami.

Inspired by a piece of flint in Moore’s studio, the outward points create a dynamic energy.


The Henry Moore Sculpture Gallery and Centre for the Study of Sculpture opens in Leeds

Large Divided Oval: Butterfly

1982, cast 1985-86 (LH 571b), bronze, Kongresshalle, City of Berlin.

Like many of Moore’s abstract works, this piece subtly alludes to the subject indicated by the title, with large bronze forms managing to refer to lightness and flight.

The Falklands War

The Falklands War lasts for ten weeks between Argentina and the UK


Metropolitan Museum of Art exhibition

A major exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, shows Moore’s early carvings, addressing his reputation for only making monumental outdoor works.

Mother and Child I

1983 (CGM 671), etching and aquatint in four colours.

One of thirty etchings from Moore’s last major graphic album, and the largest of any of his print projects, the Mother and Child album.

Mother and Child: Hood

1983 (LH 851), travertine marble, The Henry Moore Foundation: acquired 1986.

Moore’s last commission, for St Paul’s Cathedral, London, abstracts the Madonna and Child theme.


French honours

Moore is nominated Commandeur de l’Ordre national de la Légion d’honneur. French President François Mitterrand visits Perry Green for the occasion.

Large Reclining Figure

1984 (LH 192b cast 0), bronze, The Henry Moore Foundation: acquired 1986.

At nine metres long, this is Moore’s largest ever sculpture, and only two bronze casts were made. Commissioned for the Overseas Banking Corporation, Singapore, the second cast is sited on a man-made mound in Moore’s estate at Perry Green.

The Miners’ strikes begin across the country, protesting the closures of mines and restrictions in pay


Mother with Child on Lap

1982 (LH 870), plaster, bronze.

The anonymity of the figures is enhanced by the smooth surface, achieved by the cast being taken from a polystyrene model rather than plaster which allows for more surface texture.


Hong Kong exhibitions

The Henry Moore Foundation and the British Council stage an ambitious exhibition spanning seven venues in Hong Kong.

Large Figure in a Shelter

1985-86 (LH 652c cast 1), bronze, City of Guernica, Spain.

Moore’s last sculptural work is presented to Guernica, Spain, as a tribute to those who died in the Spanish Civil War.

Henry Moore’s death

Moore dies at his home in Perry Green on 31 August, survived by his wife Irina, daughter Mary, and his grandchildren.