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Henry Moore (1898-1986)
Artist's Resale Right ("Droit de Suite"). Artist's… Read more PROPERTY FROM THE COLLECTION OF THE FAMILY OF HARRY BROOKS Harry A. Brooks, a close friend of Henry Moore, had a long and distinguished career in the New York art world. Having served in the US Army during the Second World War, when he was awarded the Bronze Star and Army Commendation Ribbon, Brooks embarked upon his career as an art dealer, joining E. Coe Kerr Gallery in New York, before moving to Knoedler & Co., where he worked for 21 years. In 1968 Brooks joined Wildenstein & Co. as Vice President and later President, before retiring in 1990. A graduate from Princeton University, he served as a Director at the University's Art Museum, as well as at the Nassau County Museum of Art in Roslyn, NY. Brooks passed away on 2 June 2000, aged 87. Further property from the Collection of the Family of Harry Brooks will be included in the Impressionist and Modern Art Day Sale on 19 June, lots 443-448.
Henry Moore (1898-1986)

Family Group

Details
Henry Moore (1898-1986)
Family Group
bronze with brown and green patina
Height: 5 5/8 in. (14.3 cm.)
Conceived in 1944 and cast in 1956 in an edition of nine plus one
Provenance
M. Knoedler & Co., Inc., New York.
Harry Brooks, New York, by whom acquired from the above, and thence by descent to the present owners.
Literature
D. Mitchinson, ed., Henry Moore Sculpture, New York, 1981, no. 171 (another cast illustrated p. 94).
D. Sylvester, ed., Henry Moore, Sculpture and Drawings, vol. 1, 1921-1948, London, 1969, no. 231, p. 14 (terracotta version illustrated p. 146).
Special Notice

Artist's Resale Right ("Droit de Suite"). Artist's Resale Right Regulations 2006 apply to this lot, the buyer agrees to pay us an amount equal to the resale royalty provided for in those Regulations, and we undertake to the buyer to pay such amount to the artist's collection agent.
VAT rate of 5% is payable on hammer price and at 20% on the buyer's premium.
Sale Room Notice
Please note the additional casting information for this lot:
Conceived in 1944 and cast in 1956 in an edition of nine plus one

Brought to you by

Adrienne Everwijn-Dumas
Adrienne Everwijn-Dumas

Lot Essay

In Family Group, Henry Moore has created a celebration of the simplest yet most timeless social group, showing parents with their child. This ancient theme was one which preoccupied Moore for several decades, and which he evoked through his stylised figures in various incarnations. Here, he has lent an intimate grace and elegance to the subject through this vignette-like vision of a family.

The idea for Family Group originated in the 1930s, when Moore was approach by Harry Morris, a progressive educational theorist. In those years, Morris was planning a new school building at Impington which would put his revolutionary ideas into practise. Having entrusted the architectural project to the Bauhaus's Director Walter Gropius, Morris asked Moore to provide a sculpture for the site: 'from that time dates my idea of the family group as a subject for sculpture', Moore later recalled (quoted in A. Wilkinson, ed., Henry Moore, Writings and Conversations, Aldershot, 2002, p. 89). Morris was hoping to create a new type of school, conceived as the fulcrum of social interaction for the community, actively involving parents as much as their children. Moore's sculpture, planned as a family group, would have publicly and visually conveyed the fulcrum of Morris's ideas. Despite Morris's enthusiasm, however, the project was abandoned for lack of funding. Only later, in 1947, was Moore able to bring his vision to completion, casting a monumental version of one of the models for a school in Stevenage.

Conceived as a public monument, Moore's Family Group celebrates the family as the fundamental unit of social cohesion. With the domestic, more private scale of the present cast, however, the work takes on further meaning, evoking the mother and child motif, which the artist had first explored at the very beginning of his career in 1922. In 1943, just a year before Moore started working on Family Group, the St Matthew's Church in Northampton had commissioned a Madonna and Child from the artist, forcing him to reflect on the theme in even more profound, spiritual terms.

In its drapery and form, Family Group relates to Moore's celebrated Shelter Drawings executed during the Second World War. Drawing from memory after having spent weeks observing life in the underground shelters of London, in those works Moore gave shape to draped figures, sleeping and huddling together in small groups. Developing an idea originally conceived in pre-war England, Family Group stylistically revives Moore's memories from the Blitz. Viewed from this perspective, the work seems to embody the increasingly realistic hopes for serenity and prosperity which Europe nurtured in 1944, as the war approached its end.

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