City Sculpture Projects 1972

Henry Moore Institute

24 November 2016 – 19 February 2017

A reimagining of the multi-city exhibition that placed sculptures in the busy urban centres of eight cities.

King Kong maquette

In the summer of 1972 Birmingham residents were stunned to see a ferocious, red-eyed gorilla looming over the city centre. This five-metre-high statue of King Kong was designed by Nicholas Monro as part of a nationwide initiative called City Sculpture Projects, intended to engage the urban public with contemporary sculpture in an unprecedented manner, off the plinth and out of the gallery.

The seminal open-air exhibition took place in eight regional cities and featured other renowned artists including Barry Flanagan, Lilian Lijn and William Turnbull. This winter, the Henry Moore Institute looks back at its impact, with many of the original works displayed alongside specially commissioned reproductions and a wealth of archival material.

This is the first time the controversial Kong will be on public display since its official unveiling over four decades ago (if you can discount its lengthy tenure as the mascot for a used car dealership). Now newly restored, it is casting a fresh menace in front of the gallery entrance.

Venue information

Opening times

Tuesday – Sunday 11am–5.30pm
Wednesday until 8pm

Research Library and Bookshop
Monday – Saturday 10am–5.30pm
Wednesday until 8pm
Sunday 1–5pm

Closed Bank Holidays

"Art Fund" is the operating name of the National Art Collections Fund, a charity registered in England and Wales (209174) and Scotland (SC038331)