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

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Gertrude Hermes

Archive containing over 200 photos of the printmaker, sculptor, and designer Gertrude Hermes (1901-83), recording her studio, exhibitions, sculptures and architectural works.

About the artist

In addition to being a skilful practitioner of graphic art, Gertrude Hermes (1901-83) wished to be remembered for her sculpture. Some of her best work is found among her carvings and bronzes.

The twin themes of fecundity and duality characterise her art. Hermes was a strong woman; without independent means, she courageously maintained her artistic practice while raising three children alone after the breakdown of her marriage.

What’s in the collection?

The main part of the archive consists of over 200 photographs of Hermes and her work, dated 1920-90. These record her sculptures and architectural work, such as the fountain at the Shakespeare Memorial Theatre, Stratford-Upon-Avon, 1931.

There are also photographs of Hermes at exhibitions, in her studio and with friends and a drawing by Hugh Cromyn of Hermes working on her sculpture Two in One c.1937, which is in the Leeds Museums & Galleries sculpture collection (Acc. No. 2000.0016).

Further material includes sixteen press cuttings, 1928-99; over thirty exhibition catalogues and private view cards, 1932-80; and other printed material relating to Hermes, 1932-97.

One of the most interesting discussions documented in the collection is a series of letters between Hermes and the Royal Academy in 1966, about why women Academicians were not allowed to dine with the men.

The archive includes notes on the sculptor made by her daughter, Judith Russell. These complement research notes on Hermes bequeathed to the HMI Archive by David Brown (1925-2002), compiled for his catalogue essay to accompany the Royal Academy of Arts exhibition on Gertrude Hermes in 1981.


Search the archive catalogue

Find more information about the Gertrude Hermes archive in our online catalogue.


Search the archive catalogue

Visiting the Archive of Sculptors’ Papers

The archive is free to use, but visits must be booked in advance so that we can get items ready for viewing.

Visits can be booked Tuesday to Friday, 10:00–17:00.

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Getting here

Henry Moore Institute

The Henry Moore Institute is currently closed for refurbishment until summer 2024.

74 The Headrow
United Kingdom

T:  01132 467 467