Henry Moore

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Henry Spencer Moore, one of the twentieth century’s most renowned sculptures, was an artist who was instrumental in establishing a particular kind of modernism in the United Kingdom. He sculpted bronze sculptures in abstract designs that typically represented reclining human figures with hollow voids. He was also captivated by family issues, notably the link between mother and child, which he frequently depicted in his artwork. Unlike numerous other artists who achieve popularity after their deaths, Moore achieved celebrity while still living and amassed extraordinary wealth as a result of his talents. He was captivated by a sculpture from an early age, after learning about Michelangelo’s accomplishments. His art teacher saw talent in him and encouraged him. He studied at the Leeds School of Arts following a service in the army. Initially, he worked in the traditional Victorian romantic manner but quickly transitioned to direct carving, in which the material’s faults became part of the piece. During the 1930s, he became a prominent part of the informal contemporary art movement and also dabbled in the surrealism movement. During the Second World War, he worked as a combat artist, creating portraits of war victims. He gained considerable money, which he used to form the Henry Moore foundation for the advancement of education and the beautiful arts.

Childhood & Adolescence

He was the sixth of Raymond Spencer Moore and Mary Baker’s eight children. His father was a colliery worker, and the family was impoverished. Raymond desired that his children receive an adequate education in order to further their jobs.

He became aware of Michelangelo’s accomplishments while in school and decided to pursue a career as a sculptor. Later in his education, he attended Castleford Grammar School, where his headmaster took notice of his interest in medieval sculpture.

He enlisted in the army at the age of 18 and was wounded in a gas assault in 1917. Following his recovery, he pursued a career as a physical fitness instructor.

In 1919, he enrolled as the inaugural sculpting student at the Leeds School of Art. He deepened his knowledge of primitive painting and sculpture after earning a scholarship to study at the Royal College of Art in London in 1921.
In 1924, he obtained a six-month traveling scholarship that allowed him to study the renowned works of Michelangelo, Giotto di Bondone, and Giovanni Pisano in Northern Italy.

Henry Moore’s Career

He accepted a position as a lecturer at the Royal College of Art. Due to the fact that this employment required him to work only two days a week, he had plenty of time to devote to his own work. His first public commission, ‘West Wind,’ was completed between 1928 and 1929.

He settled in Hampstead and became a member of a small group of avant-garde artists that included Barbara Hepworth, Ben Nicholson, Naum Gabo, Roland Penrose, and Herbert Read. Interactions with different artists broadened his horizons and shaped his artistic ability.
After six years of teaching at the Royal College, he was named Head of the Sculpture Department at the Chelsea School of Art in 1932.

In 1933, he became a member of Paul Nash’s ‘Unit One’ modern art movement. The next year, he traveled to Spain and studied the murals in the Altamira cave.
Along with Nash, he served on the organizing committee for the International Surrealist Exhibition. In 1936, the show took place.

At the onset of the Second World War, he resigned from his position at the Chelsea School of Art. He was commissioned as a war artist and created moving and striking images of war victims, further cementing his reputation.

In 1943, the Church of St. Matthew commissioned him to carve a Madonna and Child—the first in a series of family-group sculptures. By the late 1940s, he had established himself as a global superstar and was widely regarded as the face of British modernism.

He got a number of large commissions during the 1950s, the most notable of which was a reclining figure for the UNESCO building in Paris in 1958.
His sculpture, ‘Nuclear Energy,’ was unveiled in December 1967 on the campus of the University of Chicago to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the first controlled, self-sustaining nuclear chain reaction.

He amassed a considerable fortune as a result of his artistic abilities, albeit he preferred to live modestly. In 1972, he founded the Henry Moore Foundation, a charitable organization dedicated to promoting education and the great arts.

His Significant Works

To commemorate the 25th anniversary of the atom splitting in December 1967, his sculpture ‘Nuclear Energy’ was installed at the site of the world’s first nuclear reactor, Chicago Pile-1.

His most renowned sculpture, ‘Draped Reclining Woman,’ features a female figure reclining with the right hand and right leg supporting her weight. It was created by a succession of six casts and one by an artist.

Awards and Accomplishments

In 1948, he was awarded the International Sculpture Prize at the Venice Biennale.
In 1955 and 1963, he received the Companion of Honour and the Order of Merit.

Personal History and Legacies

In 1929, he married Irina Radetsky, a fellow Royal College student. They had only one child, Mary.
He is acknowledged for influencing a number of subsequent generations of sculptors, including Sir Anthony Caro, Philip King, Isaac Witkin, and Robert Adams.
He died in 1986, aged 88.

Estimated Net worth

Henry is one of the wealthiest sculptors and is ranked as one of the most popular sculptors. Henry Moore’s net worth is estimated to be at $14 million, based on our analysis of Wikipedia, Forbes, and Business Insider.