Henry Moore


1 May – 29 September 2019

Presented in partnership with the Henry Moore Foundation and curated by Sebastiano Barassi.

In a unique collaboration with the Henry Moore Foundation, Houghton Hall in Norfolk presents this major exhibition HENRY MOORE AT HOUGHTON HALL: NATURE AND INSPIRATION – the first significant show of the artist’s work in East Anglia.

Curated by Sebastiano Barassi, the Henry Moore Foundation’s Head of Collections & Exhibitions, the exhibition will include several monumental outdoor pieces in the grounds of the house, as well as a selection of smaller works, models and etchings, which will be shown in the ground floor gallery spaces. There will also be sculptural interventions in the State Rooms, particularly in The Stone Hall. Highlights include many of Moore’s most celebrated works such as Large Reclining Figure 1984, The Arch 1963-69, Three Piece Sculpture: Vertebrae 1968-69 and Upright Motive No.8 1955-56.

Lord Cholmondeley, owner of Houghton Hall, said: ”It is a great accolade for Houghton to have the Henry Moore Foundation involved in this year’s exhibition. We feel honoured that the Foundation are lending such a range of important work and have agreed to curate the show for us. We are also extremely grateful to our sponsors, particularly the Gagosian Gallery.”

Godfrey Worsdale, Director, Henry Moore Foundation, said: “The Foundation is delighted that Henry Moore’s work will be seen in the remarkable surroundings of Houghton Hall. Over recent years, Houghton has become increasingly recognised for the platform it gives to artists, and in particular to the work of sculptors. Henry Moore was frequently engaged by the relationship of his work with architecture, and always pleased to see his monumental forms in natural light and settings; this exhibition will enable both to be seen to magnificent effect.”

Henry Moore (1898 – 1986) is considered to be one of the most important British artists of the 20th Century and arguably the most internationally celebrated sculptor of the modern era. Moore was a pioneer, and the first British artist to become a global star in his own lifetime. His work came to symbolize post-war modernism and can be said to have caused a British sculptural renaissance. Moore’s sculpture can be seen in innumerable museum collections around the world. He worked in many different mediums, but his most recognizable works are large bronze groups using both figurative and abstract elements. He also produced fibreglass versions of some of his most iconic pieces, specifically for exhibition, and two of these will be on show at Houghton.

Moore left a large body of work to the Foundation, which he set up in the grounds of his house at Much Hadham, Hertfordshire, in 1977. Part of the Foundation’s remit is to make loans and organize exhibitions both in this country and abroad.

Houghton Hall was built by Sir Robert Walpole, Great Britain’s first Prime Minister, and was designed by the most prominent architects of the early Georgian period, Colen Campbell and James Gibbs; whilst the gilded interiors of the State Floor, with their mythological painted ceilings and profusion of marble and mahogany, was the work of William Kent. Sir Robert’s great picture collection was sold to the Empress Catherine of Russia in 1779, but the furniture, bronzes and Roman antiquities were left intact, as well as the family portraits, and the original silks and velvets have survived in remarkable condition. Houghton and its estate passed to the Cholmondeley family at the end of the 18th Century and is still a family home. The house and award-winning gardens have been open to the public since 1976.

In 2013 a remarkable exhibition reunited the house with Walpole’s original picture collection, with loans from the State Hermitage St Petersburg and many other museums and collections. The show won Apollo Magazine’s Exhibition of the Year and Hudson’s Heritage Best Event and attracted 120,000 visitors.

The collection of contemporary sculpture and works of art was started at Houghton in 1998 by Lord Cholmondeley, and substantial pieces by artists such as James Turrell, Richard Long, Rachel Whiteread, Phillip King, Stephen Cox, Anya Gallaccio and Jeppe Hein can be seen in the grounds and parkland. In addition, Houghton began a series of major contemporary exhibitions with light works by James Turrell in 2015, followed by Richard Long in 2017, and Damien Hirst in 2018.

The exhibition is sponsored by Gagosian.