Henry Moore (1898-1986)
On occasion, Christie's has a direct financial int… Read more PROPERTY FROM THE ESTATE OF J. IRWIN AND XENIA S. MILLER
Henry Moore (1898-1986)

Family Group

Henry Moore (1898-1986)
Family Group
signed 'Moore' (on the side of the bench)
bronze with brown and green patina
Height: 7 7/8 in. (20 cm.)
Conceived in 1945 and cast in an edition of seven plus one artist's proof in the artist's lifetime.
M. Knoedler & Co., Inc., New York.
Acquired from the above by the late owners in November 1968.
D. Sylvester (ed.), Henry Moore: Sculpture and Drawings, Volume One, 1921-1948, London, 1957, no. 238, p. 15.
J. Hedgecoe (ed.) & H. Moore, Henry Moore, New York, 1968, no. 4 (another cast illustrated p. 176, plaster version illustrated pp. 163 and 269).
A. Bowness (ed.), Henry Moore: Sculptures and drawings, Volume 4, Sculpture 1964-73, London, 1977 (terracotta version illustrated in photograph of the artist's studio p. 10, pl. A).
B. von Erich Steingräber, 'Henry Moore Maquetten', in Pantheon, Munich 1978 (terracotta version illustrated p. 24, fig. 23).
R. Berthoud, The Life of Henry Moore, London, 1987 (terracotta version illustrated fig. 88).
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Lot Essay

In 1942, Moore was asked to carve a Madonna and Child to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary in 1943 of the parish church of St. Matthew in Northampton. At the same time that he began work on the Madonna and Child commission, Moore developed works in various media around the theme of the Family Group. The Family Group theme materialized from the time when Moore was asked by Henry Morris and Walter Gropius to create a sculpture for a village college at Impington near Cambridge. The college's ideal of both child and adult education in a single institution appealed to Moore, who was preoccupied with the link between parent and child. He went ahead with the project immediately and the number of Family Group drawings and maquettes produced in 1944 demonstrates his preoccupation with this theme.
As Susan Compton has written: 'Moore's considered attention to the family does not only imply a personal response to a subject near to his heart; it consolidates his move towards a wider and more humanist approach appropriate for public sculpture. Originally trained as a school teacher himself, his imagination was fired by the ideal of the extension of education to all sectors of the community (S. Compton, Henry Moore, exh. cat., Royal Academy, London, 1988, p. 224).

Will Grohmann discusses the subject further, 'In the years between 1944 and 1947 he [Moore] produced a number of larger and smaller variations in stone, bronze and terracotta, differing considerably from one another, being both naturalistic and non-naturalistic, though never as abstract as the 'reclining figures'. The theme does not hem him in, but it demands a certain readiness to enter into the meaning of a community such as the family' (W. Grohmann, The Art of Henry Moore, London, 1960, p. 141).

Cast before 1968, when the late owner's acquired the sculpture, this will be the first time this particular variation of Family Group has been seen at auction in many years, if ever. Another cast of Family Group is also conserved in the Cleveland Museum of Art, Hinman B. Hurlbut Collection.

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