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The Henry Moore Institute is closed for refurbishment until Summer 2024. Henry Moore Studios & Gardens is closed over winter and will reopen on Thursday 28 March 2024.

Henry Moore Foundation announce 2023 programme

Founded by the artist in 1977, the Henry Moore Foundation works to encourage public appreciation of the visual arts through supporting research, innovation and exhibitions. Today it supports ambitious sculpture projects through its grants programme, devises an imaginative programme of exhibitions and research worldwide, and preserves the legacy of Henry Moore (1898-1986) himself.


Henry Moore Studios & Gardens, Hertfordshire

Having established the Henry Moore Foundation, Moore gifted the grounds, buildings, and contents of his seventy-acre estate in Hertfordshire to the Foundation. The Henry Moore Studios & Gardens continues to conserve and present his work in the setting in which it was created.

For 2023 the site will present Vitality: The Human Landscapes of Henry Moore, an outdoor exhibition that explores nature and the human body as a source of vitality and expression of life-force, which Moore could harness in his work.

Henry Moore, 'Two Piece Reclining Figure: Points' 1969. Photo: Sarah Mason.
Michael E. Smith, Untitled 2021, wood. Image courtesy the artist and Modern Art, London.

The Henry Moore Institute, Leeds

The Henry Moore Institute in Leeds, the city where Henry Moore began his training, showcases a diverse programme of sculpture, giving a platform to artists who push the boundaries of the art-form.

2023 exhibitions include the first solo exhibition in a UK institution by Michael E. Smith (24 March – 18 June 2023) and The Weight of Words (7 July – 26 November 2023), an international group exhibition about the pursuit of poetry by sculptural means, which will be accompanied by an extensive programme of research events.

The Herbert Read Research Season of conferences, workshops and discussion events with the University of Leeds continues until March.

The Institute will celebrate its thirtieth birthday in April with a series of events celebrating the past and the future of sculpture in the city. Significant new acquisitions into the Leeds Sculpture Collection, which the Institute co-manages with Leeds Museums and Galleries, will also be announced.

Exhibitions in 2023


Michael E. Smith

24 March – 18 June 2023

Henry Moore Institute
Main Galleries
Free entry to all


Michael E. Smith’s sculptures respond to a culture of aggressive consumption and the rapid exhaustion of reserves. Working with found materials, both manufactured and natural, stripped to their bare minimum and reconfigured through juxtaposition or placement, Smith makes constructions that are laden with a sense of foreboding. The treasured and the thrown away collide, occasionally with a wry humour, to speak of fragility, loss and shared states, be they political, economic or personal. Smith’s sculptures exist as accumulated traces of human experience, of want, need and excesses. The installation of his exhibitions is always critical, with existing architecture and light harnessed as something of a pedestal. Responding to the galleries of the Henry Moore Institute, the exhibition – Smith’s first solo presentation in a UK institution – will include new and recent work.

Michael E. Smith lives and works in Providence, Rhode Island. His work has been the subject of solo exhibitions at institutions that include: Kunsthalle Basel, 2018; SMAK, Ghent, 2017; Kunstverein Hannover, 2015; De Appel, Amsterdam, 2015; Sculpture Center, Queens, 2015; La Triennale di Milano, Milan, 2014; Power Station, Dallas, 2014; CAPC musee d’art contemporain de Bordeaux, Bordeaux, 2013; and Contemporary Art Museum, St Louis, 2011, among others. Smith was included in the 58th Venice Biennale and participated in the 2022 and 2012 Whitney Biennial. His work has additionally been included in group exhibitions at venues including MoMA PS1, Queens, 2014; Frankfurter Kunstverein, 2014; and MOCA Cleveland, Cleveland, 2013, among others.

Michael E. Smith, Untitled 2019, backpack, catfish. Image courtesy the artist and Modern Art, London.
Rebecca Fortnum, 'Bessie Vonnoh’s Sarah Bernhardt' 2022, Carbon pencil on paper.

Rebecca Fortnum: Les Praticiennes

3 February – 4 June 2023

Henry Moore Institute
Gallery 4
Free entry to all


This display of paintings and drawings by artist Rebecca Fortnum emerges from her research on the sculptor Auguste Rodin (1840–1917) and the assistants he used when making his work. Fortnum conducted part of her research during her 2022 Henry Moore Institute Research Fellowship which she spent looking at sculptural portraits by women who worked in Rodin’s studio. Rodin devoted significant time teaching women to sculpt, before employing them. At that time, other artists seldom worked with women and, for the most part, women working in sculpture in turn-of-the-century Paris encountered prejudice. Each of Rodin’s assistants has an extraordinary, and in most cases unpublished, life narrative.

Fortnum has selected a series of sculptural works by twelve women who were associated with Rodin’s studio to make paintings from.

“In my selection these women are depicting women (often a friend or peer) with their eyes downcast or closed, looking away. I enjoy the ambiguity implicit in both the signalling of empowered absorption or self-containment alongside a reading of social conformity and female modesty. The viewer may decide which.”

Rebecca Fortnum

Vitality: The Human Landscapes of Henry Moore

5 April – 29 October 2023

Henry Moore Studios & Gardens


Henry Moore’s close friend, the writer Herbert Read, once said of him ‘a classical ideal of beauty is not the aim of the artist but this alternative ideal of vitality, of integrated form and feeling.’ For Moore, nature and the human body were sources of vitality, expressions of life-force, which he could harness in his work, incorporating their forms in his art, uniting and concentrating their vital energy.

Moore’s forms often appear abstract but he was fundamentally a figurative artist – the human body remained his core concern throughout his life. He understood that we learn to navigate the world around us ‘through our own bodies. From our mother’s breast, from our bones, from bumping into things, we learn what is rough and what is smooth.’ Exploring such juxtapositions of hard and soft, large and small, round and sharp, organic and mechanical, became part of Moore’s sculptural process. In his maquette studio he surrounded himself with natural forms, bones, stones, shells and drift wood which he would turn over, mount, build up and cut down through the addition of plaster.

Moore transformed flints and bones into figures. He allowed the natural form to dictate the shape of the body. When he enlarged these works and placed them outside, the figure also corresponded with the landscape. The rise and fall of the body – knees, breasts, and shoulders – echoed the forms of the land – mountains, valleys, caves and rocky outcrops. Moore enhanced the relationship of his works to their environment by incorporating space within them. He broke the figure into multiple parts and pierced his sculptures to incorporate holes, opposing volume and void and making space a part of the sculpture. This created a greater sense of three-dimensionality and brought the landscape into the very form of the work.

Haney Moore, 'Mother and Child Block Seat' (LH 838). Photo: Sarah Mercer.

In 2023, a selection of twenty-one of Moore’s bronzes are displayed in the landscape adjacent to the studios where he developed ideas. Natural and human forms can be seen to have inspired sculptures across all of Moore’s most iconic themes: the mother and child, the reclining figure, and the juxtaposition of internal/external forms. A number of Moore’s multi-part reclining figures, where he asks the viewer to imaginatively piece together the body, are joined by some of his purest organic abstractions in which we can trace the journey from handheld pebble to monumental work. Explore Moore’s sculptures as they soar above us and around us like the landscape in which they sit.

Henry Moore, 'Two Piece Reclining Figure: Points' (LH 606 cast 0) 1969, bronze. Courtesy Yorkshire Sculpture Park. Photo: Jonty Wilde.
Egon Altdorf, 'Traum der Könige' ('Dream of the Kings') 1956, woodcut. Photo: Douglas Atfield.

Egon Altdorf

17 June – 26 November 2023

Henry Moore Institute
Gallery 4
Free entry to all


Egon Altdorf (1922–2008) was one of three prize-winners in the German competition for the Monument to the Unknown Political Prisoner, and went on to achieve success as a printmaker, graphic artist and interior designer as well as a sculptor. He held strong Catholic beliefs and often made work on Christian religious subjects. One of his most significant projects was designing the interior scheme for the new synagogue in Wiesbaden, built to replace the synagogue destroyed in Kristallnacht in 1939 and now widely regarded as an important example of post-war religious architecture.

This display will focus on the work Altdorf produced immediately following his entry to the competition to design the Monument to the Unknown Political Prisoner in 1952 and his subsequent visit to the UK in 1953, which he described as the most important event in his creative development.

The display will feature three of Altdorf’s steel sculptures, along with a selection of his woodcuts and prints. These show both the strength of Altdorf’s design and printmaking skills, and the clear influence of the British artists he met during his time in the UK.

The Weight of Words

7 July – 26 November 2023

Henry Moore Institute
Main Galleries
Free entry to all


The Weight of Words is an international group exhibition about the pursuit of poetry by sculptural means. It features an intergenerational array of contemporary artists and poets from around the world who explore profound connections between the plastic and linguistic qualities of words, in ways that range from the humorous to the haunting.

Some of the works exhibit language as form. Others imply or encourage practices of speaking, writing and reading in poetic ways. Each work uses the weight, scale and context of their material presence to expand the imaginative potential of what is shaped, expressed and left behind in the name of poetry.

Photograph of a motion flap-board (a type public sign system once commonly found in stations or ports before digital signs became widely used). The sign hangs from the ceiling on two slender chains. There is a bay window behind the sign, and a relief sculpture of an angel on the wall to the left. The sign has two lines of text; both are deliberately misspelled. The top one reads 'SHUT MTOUH' and the bottom one reads 'WRODS CMOE FROM EARS'.
Shilpa Gupta, 'Words Come From Ears' 2018, motion flapboard, 15 min loop. Courtesy Uppsala Art Museum. Photo: Pär Fredin.

The exhibition is co-curated with Nick Thurston, Reader in Fine Art, University of Leeds.

Artists include:

Caroline Bergvall
Pavel Büchler
Vahni Capildeo
Tim Etchells

Simone Fattal
Shilpa Gupta
Emma Hart
Leslie Hewitt

Bhanu Kapil
Issam Kourbaj
Glenn Ligon
Shanzai Lyric

Mark Manders
Joo Yeon Park
Doris Salcedo
Slavs and Tatars

Notes to Editors

Press enquiries

For further information, images or to arrange a visit please contact:

Emily Dodgson
Head of Marketing and Communications, Henry Moore Foundation

Sophie Balfour-Lynn
Senior Account Manager, Sutton PR


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