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

See & Do

Touring exhibition

Henry Moore: Drawing in the Dark

Danum Gallery, Doncaster, UK

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Henry Moore sketching two miners, Jack Hancock and Friend Ward, setting up a tupping machine at Wheldale Colliery. Photo: Reuben Saidman

Drawing in the Dark is the largest exhibition to date of Moore’s coalmining drawings, completed in 1942 for the War Artists’ Advisory Committee.

When Moore was asked to record the coalminers working to power wartime Britain, he chose to visit the mine his father had worked in, Wheldale Colliery in Castleford.  He spent a week there drawing from observation, and subsequently worked from memory to create the remaining drawings which were all completed within six months.

This fascinating body of work reveals the back-breaking labour endured by nearly 3/4 million miners as they made their vital contribution to Britain’s war effort, while also providing new insights into Moore’s life and artistic process.

Curated by University of Hertfordshire Arts + Culture programme, the exhibition takes inspiration from the new book, Drawing in the Dark by art historian, Chris Owen. The exhibition was first shown in the subterranean Weston Gallery of St Albans Museum + Gallery and moves to Danum Gallery, Library and Museum in May 2023.

Henry Moore sketching two miners, Jack Hancock and Friend Ward, setting up a tupping machine at Wheldale Colliery. Photo: Reuben Saidman
Henry Moore sketching two miners, Jack Hancock and Friend Ward, setting up a tupping machine at Wheldale Colliery. Photo: Reuben Saidman

Works in the exhibition

Over one hundred drawings are shown alongside sculptures and other works on paper. Visitors are invited to journey from quick pencil sketches, through developmental drawings, finished pieces and finally to later works inspired by Moore’s coalmining experience. Drawings from Moore’s four coalmining sketchbooks are presented to demonstrate a range of techniques including pencil, ink and wax.

 

View list of works in our online catalogue

Getting here

Danum Gallery

Library and Museum
Waterdale
Doncaster
DN1 3BZ

United Kingdom

T:  01302 734 315
E:  DGLAMenquiries@doncaster.gov.uk