Henry Moore and the Tate
Tate Britain: Display
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Part of the series Henry Moore display
  • Henry Moore OM, CH, 'Recumbent Figure' 1938

    Henry Moore OM, CH
    Recumbent Figure 1938
    Green Hornton stone
    object: 889 x 1327 x 737 mm, 520 kg
    Presented by the Contemporary Art Society 1939 The Henry Moore Foundation. This image must not be reproduced or altered without prior consent from the Henry Moore Foundation.

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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 Moore’s friends and supporters have been pivotal in shaping Tate’s collection of Moore’s 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 Tate’s buying of Moore’s work reflected the artist’s 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 Moore’s status as one of the leading artists of the twentieth century.

This display has been devised by curator Jenny Powell with Alice Correia.

View the artworks in this display