Despite official hostility until the late 1930s, there are now 634 works by Henry Moore in the Tate collection ranging in date from 1921 to 1984, and including drawings, prints, and sculptures in wood, stone and metal.
Recumbent Figure was the first work to enter the collection in 1939. Kenneth Clark played a key role in the negotiations, and subsequent gifts from Moores friends and supporters have been pivotal in shaping Tates collection of Moores work. Moore donated sets of prints to the gallery in 1976 and his most significant act of generosity was the presentation of 36 sculptures in 1978.
From the 1940s onwards the Tates buying of Moores work reflected the artists growing reputation. In 1950, Family Group became the second full-scale work to be acquired. The third, King and Queen, was presented by The Friends of the Tate Gallery in 1959.
Moore built a close relationship with the gallery: he served as a Trustee during the 1940s and 1950s, and two large-scale retrospective exhibitions of his work were held in 1951 and 1968. The most recent show in 2010 re-affirmed Moores status as one of the leading artists of the twentieth century.
This display has been devised by curator Jenny Powell with Alice Correia.