Henry Moore OM, CH

The Artist’s Hand I


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Henry Moore OM, CH 1898–1986
Lithograph on paper
Image: 277 × 184 mm
Presented by the Henry Moore Foundation 1986

Display caption

Henry Moore's subject is the aged body. He made these drawings of his own hands when he was eighty-one and suffering from ill-health. 'Hands can convey so much' he said, 'they can beg or refuse, take or give, be open or clenched, show content or anxiety. They can be young or old, beautiful or deformed'.


Moore saw these prints as belonging
to a long tradition of fascination with hands as vehicles of expression: 'Throughout the history of sculpture
and painting one can find that artists
have shown through the hands the feelings they wished to represent.'


Gallery label, September 2004

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Catalogue entry

This catalogue entry discusses a group of works; details of the individual work are given at the end of the introductory text.

Henry Moore O.M., C.H. 1898-1986

P02838 - P02932
Gift of ninety-five lithographs and etchings made between 1970 and 1984. This is the latest part of Henry Moore's ongoing gift to the Tate Gallery's Print Collection of one copy of almost every impression he made. The previous donation was in 1982. The ninety-five prints were presented by the Henry Moore Foundation in 1985.

Henry Moore's complete graphic oeuvre of 719 prints is recorded in four volumes and the volumes of this catalogue raisonné have been compiled by Gérald Cramer, Patrick Cramer, Professor Alistair Grant, Head of Printmaking at the Royal College of Art, London and David Mitchinson, Curator of Collections at the Henry Moore Foundation, in conjunction with the artist. The first two volumes were published by Gérald Cramer, and the last two by Patrick Cramer in Geneva. The catalogue raisonné reference number of each print is indicated as Cramer, followed by the volume number expressed in roman numerals (I to IV), followed by the number of the print within the volume. This reference can be found at the end of the pre-prose section of each entry. Most of the prints in this donation were made during the period 1980-4 and are contained within Cramer Volume IV, published in 1986, which covers Moore's output from 1980 to the spring of 1984 when ill health prevented him from producing further prints. All prints, if polychrome, are reproduced in Cramer in full colour while those in monochrome are printed in black on a tone colour.

P02907 - P02911 The Artist's Hand I-V 1979, pub. 1980

Portfolio of three lithographs and two etchings, various sizes, on Rives paper, various sizes, by various printers, all published by Raymond Spencer Company for the Henry Moore Foundation, Much Hadham; artist's proofs aside from the edition of 50 portfolios

P02907 The Artist's Hand I 1979

Lithograph 277 x184 (11 x 7 1/4) on Rives paper 510 x 377 (20 1/8 x 14 7/8); printed by Curwen Prints
Inscribed ‘Moore' below image b.r. and ‘II/X' below image b.l.
Cramer III 553

Published in:
The Tate Gallery 1984-86: Illustrated Catalogue of Acquisitions Including Supplement to Catalogue of Acquisitions 1982-84, Tate Gallery, London 1988, pp.420 and 434

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