Henry Moore: Sculptural Process and Public Identity

ISBN 978-1-84976-391-2

Henry Moore Letter to Michael Ayrton 1 November 1956

Henry Moore 'Letter to Michael Ayrton' 1 November 1956
Henry Moore
Letter to Michael Ayrton 1 November 1956
Tate Archive TGA 8523/12/150
Michael Ayrton was a painter and writer who had first met Henry Moore in Hampstead, London, in 1940. A visit to Pisa in 1947 and the sight of sculptures by the thirteenth-century sculptor Giovanni Pisano had stimulated his desire to take up sculpture. In this letter Henry Moore responds to Ayrton’s request for advice about which bronze foundries might be able to cast his work quickly and cheaply. Here Moore offers his thoughts about the speed and quality of the founders he used, notably Susse, Gaskin and Galizia.

Transcript

[Letterhead:]
Much Hadham 66                          HOGLANDS,
                                        PERRY GREEN,
                                        MUCH HADHAM,
                                        HERTS.
[Typescript with handwritten corrections: ]
                                   1st November, 1956.
My dear Michael,
 Irina and I are just back from Paris where I had to go to see the new UNESCO building (for which I am to do a large sculpture,) and to see the life-size figure which I have just had Susse, the bronze founder, cast for me, – and a few other things connected with work. We had a good time, saw a lot, and ate and drank too much, but I am quite glad to be back home.
 I am pleased to know we’ve one more sculptor added to the ranks and I hope the Leicester Galleries’ show in March will be a great success.
 I don’t know of a substitute for Gaskin, that is, somebody who will do the job as well and as cheaply. £400 for an 8 ft. figure sounds to me a remarkably reasonable estimate. The other two founders I use beside Gaskin are Galizia and Fiorini. Fiorini only does small things. – Galizia, I think, is the best and most reliable bronze caster in England, but he is also the most expensive by quite a lot, and he is always full of work and won’t do rush jobs and has often kept me waiting five and six months, –although I’ve been a very good customer of his. He’s now got an order from me for two more-than life-size figures, and I know it will be a year before I get the second delivered. Sometimes he fits the smaller things quite quickly, but for those he’s also the most expensive of them all.
 There’s Morris Singers who are used to casting large things, but I’ve never used them. (they once gave me
                                                   p.t.o
[end of page]

How to cite

Henry Moore, Letter to Michael Ayrton, 1 November 1956, in Henry Moore: Sculptural Process and Public Identity, Tate Research Publication, 2015, https://www.tate.org.uk/art/research-publications/henry-moore/henry-moore-letter-to-michael-ayrton-r1145515, accessed 25 April 2019.