Henry Moore (1898-1986)
Henry Moore (1898-1986)
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Property from the Collection of A. Jerrold PerenchioWith determination, verve, and an exceptional creative spark, A. Jerrold “Jerry” Perenchio (1930-2017) became one of the world’s most successful media figures. In the latter decades of the twentieth century, Perenchio rose from the ranks of Hollywood talent agents to achieve one stunning industry success after another. He also became a collector of world-class Impressionist, Modern and decorative art, as well as a leading philanthropist in Los Angeles. “For a long time, I thought he was lucky,” said friend and revered American singer Andy Williams. “But how could somebody sustain a lucky streak for that long? Finally, I realized that he wasn’t lucky. He was just smart.” Perenchio’s journey as a collector of both fine and decorative art was closely linked to the trajectory of his success in the world of entertainment and media. His interest in art originated during his early days as a junior talent agent at MCA, when he was assigned to accompany British actor Charles Laughton during a U.S. theatrical tour. Laughton, a collector of Modern art, invited Perenchio to visit galleries and museums with him as they traveled the country together. “A lot of it I didn’t really understand, I didn’t get it, but other things I did” Perenchio recalled of being introduced to art and artists by his generous and knowledgeable guide. “He gave me books; I studied and would read on the road with him.” Perenchio soon became fascinated with the beauty and vibrancy of masterpieces from across the centuries. His close friendship Andy Williams – also an avid collector – sparked his passion for acquiring art. As Perenchio’s industry success grew, he was able to build his own striking assemblage of masterworks, with a strong focus on painting, works on paper, and sculpture of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Encompassing major works by figures including Claude Monet, Édouard Manet, Pierre Bonnard, Paul Cézanne, Pablo Picasso, and Edgar Degas, the collection was a source of constant inspiration and joy. “Next to my family and friends,” Perenchio said of his treasured pieces, “they are the most important things to me.”This passion extended to his purchase of the former Kirkeby Estate in Bel Air. Originally commissioned in 1930, the home was designed by architect Sumner Spaulding as a grand Louis XV-style residence. It was the perfect backdrop for showcasing a museum-quality art collection – Henry Moore’s monumental Reclining Figure nestled in the exquisitely-maintained rose garden; August Rodin’s Eve standing gracefully in the marble-lined formal entry; the salon-style living rooms accented with furniture by Diego Giacometti; and the walls throughout adorned with a preeminent collection of Impressionist and Modern art. For years, Perenchio was one of California’s leading charitable benefactors. “He was very influential in the philanthropic world, as people know, but most of his philanthropy was anonymous. I don’t know if we’ll ever know the extent of it,” noted Michael Govan, Director of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA). “But I can say in my own experience, he was perhaps the most philanthropic person I’ve ever worked with... He combined this hard-driving success and goal orientation in philanthropy with extreme generosity and encouragement.’ Among the many beneficiaries of Perenchio’s charitable giving were the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation, the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, the Walt Disney Concert Hall, the Los Angeles Opera, and environmental organizations such as the Natural Resources Defense Council. Perenchio was forever mindful of the many opportunities he found in Los Angeles, and stood as one of the city’s most ardent champions. In a rare press appearance in 2014, Perenchio announced a promised gift of nearly 50 European masterworks to LACMA. “I never put my name on anything,” the collector said at the time. “In this case, I’ve decided that it’s worth a temporary step into the spotlight to encourage other collectors to give to LACMA and support the fundraising.” The bequest, which includes some of the most significant works from his collection, will anchor LACMA’s new permanent building, slated for completion in 2023. “I have lived in Los Angeles for over seventy years,” he wrote in the foreword to a subsequent book on the bequest. “It is where I was educated and raised my family, and it is a city that helped make my career possible. It gives me great pleasure to give something back.” Two years after his historic pledge, Perenchio furthered his generosity to LACMA with a $25 million gift that, together with another substantial donation by benefactor Elaine Wynn, became the largest gift in the museum’s history. It was integrity, hard work, and accomplishment – rather than any quest for fame – that drove Perenchio throughout his prodigious career. “Hire people smarter and better than you,” he urged in Rules of the Road, a typed list of twenty dictums distributed to his employees, and “rely on your instincts and common sense.” When Perenchio received an honorary doctorate in fine arts from California State University, Fresno, in 2011, he encouraged graduating students to dream big, and promised that success would come with “lots of hard work, perseverance, mentoring, faith, ambition, and a good dose of luck.” In his closing comments he cited rule number twenty from Rules of the Road, which aptly summarized Perenchio’s approach to life “Always, always take the high road. Be tough but fair and never lose your sense of humor.”It was a winning combination that served as the bedrock of Perenchio’s tremendous personal success. He was a bold thinker who challenged conventions, and his generous spirit will continue to resonate through the auction of his private collection of fine and decorative art. All net proceeds will go to the Perenchio Foundation, whose principal mission is to support visual and performing arts programs and institutions located in Los Angeles County.“We must always remember that the heart and soul of any great city in this world is its commitment and dedication to the arts.” ~ Jerry Perenchio (LACMA press conference, 2014)
Henry Moore (1898-1986)

Family Group

Henry Moore (1898-1986)
Family Group
signed 'MOORE' (on the back of the base)
bronze with brown and green patina
Height: 5 ¾ in. (14.5 cm.)
Conceived in 1945 and cast by 1957
Alexander Liberman, New York.
E.V. Thaw & Co., New York.
Mr. and Mrs. John Hay Whitney, New York (acquired from the above, 30 September 1968); Estate sale, Sotheby's, New York, 10 May 1999, lot 33.
Acquired at the above sale by the late owner.
W. Grohmann, The Art of Henry Moore, London, 1960, pp. 8 and 137-142, no. 121 (large terracotta version illustrated).
J. Hedgecoe and H. Moore, Henry Moore, New York, 1968, p. 163 (stone version illustrated, p. 162).
I. Jianou, Henry Moore, Paris, 1968, p. 74, no. 222.
R. Melville, Henry Moore, Sculpture and Drawings, 1921-1969, New York, 1970, p. 352, no. 343 (terracotta version illustrated, p. 160; large terracotta version illustrated, p. 164, no. 354).
G.C. Argan, Henry Moore, New York, 1971, no. 81 (another cast illustrated; terracotta version illustrated, no. 83).
J. Iglesias del Marquet, Henry Moore y El Inquietante Infinito, Barcelona, 1979, p. 50, no. 33 (large terracotta version illustrated).
H. Moore, Henry Moore: Sculpture, New York, 1981, p. 95, no. 178 (large terracotta version illustrated).
W.S. Lieberman, Henry Moore: 60 Years of His Art, New York, 1983, p. 62 (large version illustrated, p. 63).
D. Sylvester, ed., Henry Moore: Complete Sculpture 1921-1948, London, 1988, vol. 1, p. 14, no. 235 (large terracotta version illustrated, p. 150, no. 265).
J. Hedgecoe, Henry Moore: A Monumental Vision, Cologne, 2005, p. 210, no. 237 (another cast illustrated).

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Max Carter
Max Carter

Lot Essay

Henry Moore conceived the theme of the Family Group for a public commission related to the building of new towns and schools in Britain before the Second World War. It was not until 1944, however, at the height of the conflict, that funding for the project seemed likely to become available. Moore modeled in terracotta the initial series of eight Family Groups. The end of the war in Europe, in May 1945, prompted him to create six more models; in 1947 he enlarged three of these terracottas, including the one pertaining to the present sculpture, to produce the first bronze editions.
The Family Group sculptures celebrate the nation’s return to peacetime well-being and the pleasures of family life. They express a renewed emphasis on fundamental humanist values, while providing an aesthetic model for community spirit and co-operation, with the promise of progressive social services for all. These sculptures rejoice not only in the birth of a child—Moore’s daughter Mary, his only offspring, was born in 1946—but in the creation of new young families as well. After a half-decade of wartime casualties and a low birth rate, to once again become fruitful and multiply was a crucial requirement for the economic and social revival of Britain during the post-war era.
When Moore chose to enlarge two of the Family Group maquettes to life-size for installation at schools in Stevenage (1947) and Harlow (1955), he opted for the iconic simplicity of a triadic configuration (Lund Humphries, nos. 269 and 365). The four-figure groups, however, outnumber the three-member families almost two to one among the terracotta models. The combination of both parents plus two children, one of each sex, was capable of generating more varied arrangements, with increased potential for emotional expression.
"This Family Group [the present sculpture] is rather far removed from the others in its formal aspects,” Will Grohmann wrote. “The man's chest is an open hollow; the woman's right breast is negatively modeled, the left positively; the legs are as rigid as the string-boards of a church pew. The boy standing between his father's knees is statuesquely simplified, the child sitting on his mother's lap is reaching with his left hand for her open breast, but the hand is lost in the bulk of the mother's body. The expression of the group is archaic, mute; the human relationship between the four beings is expressed only through the convergent attitude of the figures and through the alternations of solid shapes and hollows. The woman's hollow is fruitfulness, the man's is spirit” (op. cit., 1960, p. 142).

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