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Touring exhibition

Henry Moore: Drawing in the Dark

St Albans Museum + Gallery, UK

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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, where he spent a week drawing from observation. Subsequently, he 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.

A drawing in wax crayon, pen and ink, and watercolour wash showing four miners standing in front of their pit head machinery
Henry Moore, 'Pit Boys at Pithead' 1942 (HMF 1985), pencil, wax crayon, coloured crayon, watercolour, wash, pen and ink. Hepworth Wakefield (Wakefield City Art Gallery).

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

St Albans Museum + Gallery

Town Hall
St Peter’s Street
St Albans

United Kingdom

T:  01727 864 511