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Discover & Research

Calls for papers

We often hold conferences on a wide range of sculpture topics at the Henry Moore Institute in Leeds, Henry Moore Studios and Gardens in Hertfordshire, or with external partner venues.

Currently accepting proposals

William Mitchell in Context: Post-War Sculpture, Architecture and Urban Renewal


University of Bradford
Wednesday 26 October 2022, 10:00–17:00

Call for Contributions


Deadline to apply:
Monday 3 October, 17:00

As part of Bradford’s 2025 UK City of Culture celebrations, the Henry Moore Institute and Bradford City Council will present a season of research and cultural events exploring the role of sculptors in the context of post-war architecture and urban renewal.

Using the work of sculptor William Mitchell (1925-2020) as a catalyst, the research season will explore not only Bradford’s post-war cultural heritage, but the wider subject of post-war regeneration and the spirit of internationalism within which Mitchell and his contemporaries operated. Known for his abstract designs and innovative use of materials, including glass reinforced concrete and poured resin, Mitchell’s work of the post-war years can be found in cities across the UK. His career took him as far afield as Qatar, California and Hawaii, creating decorative and architectural schemes for zoos, train stations and city squares.

As well as Mitchell’s work and legacy, the research season will also examine, from a post-war perspective: issues surrounding commissioning and collaboration between architects and sculptors; sculpture in towns and cities; urban planning; international exchanges and influences, as well as the continuing challenges of preserving the UK’s sculptural heritage.

As a first step, we would like to invite those working on these subjects to join us in Bradford for a networking event on October 26 2022, to share research and work in progress and to discuss different ways to approach these issues. Participants are invited to present a brief summary of their work and to share ideas as we plan for the research season in 2025.

Topics may include but are not limited to:

  • The role of sculptors in post-war architecture and town planning
  • The commissioning process
  • Relationships between sculptors and architects
  • Collaborative projects
  • William Mitchell in the USA
  • Post-war internationalism and the global context for sculpture
  • Overlooked practitioners, particularly women in the field of sculpture and architecture
  • Materials and processes
  • Heritage, preservation and documentation
  • Reassessing and conserving our post-war heritage

We welcome contributors from any related field, including art and architectural history; fine art, design and sculpture; urban planning; heritage studies; archaeology; material sciences. Presentations may take place in-person or remotely.

The event will begin with a tour of the existing William Mitchell works located across the city of Bradford, with lunch for participants provided. For those wishing to participate remotely, zoom access will be available for the afternoon’s presentations and discussions.

To apply for a place, please send us a brief summary of your interests and a proposal for a 5-10 minute presentation along with a short CV.

We will reimburse travel and accommodation costs within the UK where necessary.

Recent calls for papers

You can see examples of the types of conferences and open calls we hold below.


Two black and white archival photographs showing Herbert Read as an older man, sitting behind a small perspex sculpture by Naum Gabo.
Herbert Read in his study with a sculpture by Naum Gabo. Courtesy Leeds University Library Special Collections BC Read.

New Approaches to Herbert Read


Leeds University
Wednesday 2 November 2022

Call for participants for a one-day workshop for PhD and Early Career Researchers on the work of Herbert Read.


Deadline to apply:
Wednesday 7 September 2022, 17:00


This workshop will mark the beginning of the Henry Moore Institute’s 2022-23 research season dedicated to Herbert Read. Building on the foundation of scholarship that reassessed Read in the 1990s, it asks how his legacy has shifted into the twenty-first century.

We welcome proposals for short, 5-10 minute papers intended to simulate discussion and introduce new research or creative interpretation of Read’s work. Topics may include:

  • New research into any area of Read’s writing
  • Read as curator, editor, or translator
  • New perspectives on Read’s influence over modern and contemporary sculpture
  • Read and the nineteenth century
  • Read and the Anthropocene
  • Read and the ethnographic artifact
  • Read’s anarchism and his political context
  • Read’s position within the New Modernist Studies
  • Read at home: the North Riding, Leeds, Hampstead, Stonegrave
  • Read’s role at the ICA
  • Word, image, ekphrasis
  • Read beyond the canon
  • Read and imperialism
  • Read and popular culture
  • Read and landscape