Five must-see Moores

  • 24 July 2013

A miner's son who fought in the First World War, Henry Moore became one of Britain's most recognisable artists through his monumental public sculptures.

To celebrate the great artist's birthday, we've chosen five of his greatest works to see across the UK.

1. Sheep Piece, 1971–2
The Henry Moore Foundation, Hertfordshire

Moore lived and worked at Perry Green for 40 years, surrounded by Hertfordshire's rolling hills. The sheep in the fields around Perry Green recalled the Yorkshire landscape of his childhood, and Moore crated this monumental bronze in the hope that lambing sheep would gather at its base.

2. Draped Seated Woman, 1957–8
Yorkshire Sculpture Park, West Yorkshire

Affectionately known as Old Flo, this iconic post-war sculpture has been displayed on loan at Yorkshire Sculpture Park since 1997. In 2012 the Art Fund supported a campaign to keep it on public display, backed by Danny Boyle and Sir Nicholas Serota, after a report showed that Tower Hamlets Council was considering selling the work.

3. Family Group, 1944
Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridgeshire

This is one of over a dozen maquettes created by Moore after he was approached to design a sculpture for a new school being built in Impington, near Cambridge. He envisioned a large stone family group, the subject he felt best suited the commission, but the project ran out of money and the sculpture was sadly cancelled. 

4. Four-Piece Composition (Reclining Figure), 1934
Tate Britain, London

Carved from Cumbrian alabaster, this is one of Moore's most abstract interpretations of the reclining figure motif. Bought with help from the Art Fund in 1976, the structure is made up of four organic forms incised with lines, recalling both prehistoric carving and the work of Pablo Picasso.

5. The Helmet, 1939–40
Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Edinburgh

Student visits to the Victoria & Albert Museum gave Moore a lifelong interest in armour, which manifested itself in his helmet series. To Moore, helmets represented a number of ideas: the interplay of outer and inner forms, the symbolic mother and child, and the mystery of what lay obscured within.

What works would be on your list? Tell us via the Facebook comments below.