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Three decades of being in the moment


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Henry Moore Institute celebrates thirty years of being open to you

This April the Henry Moore Institute is celebrating 30 years since it opened its doors on 21 April 1993.

We’re celebrating with a new library display looking at the making of the building, reflecting on our achievements in that time, as well as a creative competition inviting people to reimagine the building.

Share your memories with us

Have you got a favourite exhibition? Did you discover something in the library which inspired your work? Did you meet the love of your life at one of our events? We want to hear from you!

Discover the history of the Henry Moore Institute’s building with our Operations Manager and Artist, Catherine Aldred.

Having worked at the Institute for 30 years, she shares fascinating stories about its past and architecture while bringing it to life through her drawings and paintings.

See more of Catherine’s work on her website:

Our history

The Henry Moore Institute, part of Henry Moore Foundation opened in Leeds on 21 April 1993 as a centre for the study of sculpture with an art gallery and research library open to all. While the Institute rarely displays any work by its founder, its existence is inspired by Henry Moore’s desire to give people in Leeds access to sculpture.

“I remember that as a young sculptor, there was nothing; there wasn’t a single piece of sculpture in my home town.”

Henry Moore interviewed in 1981

The long-established partnership of Leeds City Council and the Henry Moore Foundation began with the development of the Sculpture Study Centre in Leeds Art Gallery in 1982 and led to the development of the Henry Moore Institute in 1993. Award winning architects Jeremy Dixon and Edward Jones BDP redesigned three existing wool merchant’s offices on Cookridge Street in the centre of Leeds, introducing an iconic black granite façade on the front, sensitive, minimalist detailing throughout and creating spaces specifically designed for the display of sculpture.

“We wanted an architect who would respond to the site and respect the almost domestic scale of the existing buildings and produce an architectural statement that was at once strong and restrained.”

Robert Hopper, Director of the Henry Moore Foundation, 1993

The Grade II listed building won both the Leeds Design for Architecture and the RIBA Architecture Award (Yorkshire Region) in 1993.

The Henry Moore Institute is more than a gallery… It’s one of the major sculpture research places in Britain…The whole point was to be connected, by bridge, to the main art gallery next door… it becomes an extension of the main city art gallery.

Jeremy Dixon interviewed by Niamh Dillon, 2009 – 2014,
National Life Stories Architects’ Lives, C467/91 © British Library

View of the Henry Moore Institute in 2023/at the opening ceremony in 1993. Photo: Min Young Lim.