Henry Moore: The Life and Work of a Great Sculptor

Nasher Sculpture Center
Jul 31, 2019 6:20PM

In the mid-1960s, when he was offered a staff writer position at The New Yorker, the poet Donald Hall declined, not wanting to make the move to Manhattan from New England with his small family. Instead, feeling he needed to offer something by way of a literary gesture, Hall asked if the magazine wanted a story on the preeminent sculptor Henry Moore. The editor accepted, and so Hall began a close, yearlong observation of Moore—of his personal life and his studio practice—that would yield the piece “The Experience of Form,” published in the magazine in December 1965. The article would later be expanded into a book, Moore’s first full biography: The Life and Work of a Great Sculptor: Henry Moore.

Hall’s biography of Moore is an intimate account of the habits of one of the 20th century’s most important minds—a portrait of an artist at the height of his career, when the demands of the market and media, fans and art historians, shaped his day just as much as the carving of stone did. Moore’s daily life, in turn, helped shaped Hall’s, who would later write a book called Life Work (1993), wherein his own everyday rituals and patterns of poetry writing and work, correspondence, and chores were modeled after the ones he’d seen of Moore decades before.

Published here are images from The Life and Work of a Great Sculptor: Henry Moore in honor of an artist who is a pillar of the Nasher Collection, but also in honor of his poetic chronicler and quotidian disciple, Donald Hall, who died on June 23, 2018 at the age of 89.

Images reproduced with permission from The Henry Moore Foundation and The Donald A. Hall, Jr. Revocable Trust.

Nasher Sculpture Center