Home   What's On   Article

Henry Moore Studios & Gardens to reopen with new exhibition Vitality: The Human Landscapes of Henry Moore





Henry Moore Studios & Gardens will reopen on April 5 with a new outdoor exhibition featuring more than 20 monumental bronzes.

Inspired by natural and human forms, "Vitality: The Human Landscapes of Henry Moore" will be displayed in the grounds surrounding the studios at Perry Green where Moore, a Yorkshire miner's son who became one of the world's best-known artists of the 20th century, developed his ideas.

Mindful of the cost-of-living crisis, HMS&G has held admission prices at 2022 levels and introduced a new annual ticket that gives visitors the chance to enjoy the 70 acres of studios, home and gardens as many times as they wish in a year.

Henry Moore, Reclining Connected Forms 1969. Photo: Errol Jackson (reproduced by permission of the Henry Moore Foundation)
Henry Moore, Reclining Connected Forms 1969. Photo: Errol Jackson (reproduced by permission of the Henry Moore Foundation)

The attraction near Much Hadham is Moore's former home and workplace. From 1940, a year after the outbreak of the Second World War, until his death in 1986 at the age of 88, he created the ideal environment where he could make and display his work and cater to an international demand for exhibitions.

For Moore, nature and the human body were sources of vitality, expressions of life force which he could harness in his work, uniting and concentrating their vital energy.

Although his forms often appear abstract, he was fundamentally a figurative artist – the human body remained his core concern throughout his life.

Henry Moore working on the plaster for Two Piece Reclining Figure: Points 1969. Photo: Errol Jackson (reproduced by permission of the Henry Moore Foundation)
Henry Moore working on the plaster for Two Piece Reclining Figure: Points 1969. Photo: Errol Jackson (reproduced by permission of the Henry Moore Foundation)

In his maquette studio, he surrounded himself with natural forms – bones, stones, shells and driftwood – which he transformed into figures through the addition of clay, plasticine and plaster.

When he enlarged these works and placed them outside, the rise and fall of the body – knees, breasts and shoulders – echoed the forms of the land.

Moore enhanced the relationship of his works to their environment by incorporating space within them. He broke the figure into multiple parts and pierced his sculptures to create holes, making space a part of them and bringing the landscape into the very form of the work.

This year, in the Vitality exhibition, multi-part reclining figures are joined by some of his purest organic abstractions and works exploring his most iconic themes: the mother and child, the reclining figure and the juxtaposition of internal and external forms.

Dr Hannah Higham, senior curator of collections and research at HMS&G, said: "125 years on since Henry Moore’s birth, it seems appropriate to consider vitality.

"Vitality was a word often used by Moore to describe a quality he hoped to embody in his art. He used the term to describe an animating force or power.

"He drew on all of his experiences of art, landscape, the human body, hope and fear, and channelled them into expressive works which he hoped we would connect directly with our own.

"His empathy, coupled with his intense interest in all forms, charges abstract organic shapes with meaning. Their significance seems heightened by their placement here in the landscape in which they were created."

Lesley Wake, Henry Moore Foundation's chief operating officer, said: “As the cost-of-living crisis continues across the UK, many potential visitors will be on the lookout for more affordable activities. Our ambition is to enable and encourage more people to visit, enjoy the studios and gardens and discover Henry Moore. With this in mind we have taken the decision not to increase the ticket price, regardless of the added value of multiple visits.”

The studios and gardens are open Wednesdays to Sundays and bank holidays, 11am to 5pm, until October 29. Last admission is 4pm. Admission from £16.50. Online booking at henry-moore-foundation.arttickets.org.uk.

People can also explore Henry Moore Studios & Gardens virtually through a new, free audio-visual guide on arts and culture app Bloomberg Connects.

Discover rarely-seen photos, in-depth audio guides, stories and video content offering fascinating insights into Moore’s artistic practices, the development of his famous sculptures and his life in Perry Green.



This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies - Learn More