Henry Moore was born in 1898 in Castleford, Yorkshire, the son of a miner. He taught at Castleford Grammar School in 1916, then served in the army from 1917–19.
Upon demobilisation, he resumed teaching in 1919, but later in the same year he went to Leeds School of Art. From there he attended the Royal College of Arts, where he was granted a scholarship (1921–4). During his time at the RCA, he made his first visit to Paris in 1923, then journeyed to France and Italy on a travelling scholarship in 1925. Over the course of his life he travelled widely, in Europe and the Americas.
Moore then taught at the RCA (1925–32), and at Chelsea School of Art (1932–9). He had his first solo show at the Warren Gallery in 1928, and subsequently exhibited at the Leicester Galleries, Marlborough Fine Art, and others. He also showed at the International Surrealist Exhibitions in London (1936) and Paris (1938). Moore was given retrospective exhibitions at Temple Newsam, Leeds (1941 and 1945) the U.S.A. (1946–7) and subsequently throughout the world, winning prizes at Venice, 1948, São Paulo, 1953, and Pittsburgh, 1958.
His first public commission was for a relief on the Underground Building, St James’s, (1928–9). He was a member of the London Group (1930–7), 7 & 5 Society (1932–5), National Society (1931–2), and Unit One (1933). He became an Official War Artist in 1940, trustee of the Tate Gallery (1941–8 and 1949–56), and of the National Gallery from 1956; member of the Art Panel of the Arts Council (1945–51) and member of the Royal Fine Art Commission, London (since 1947). He was made Hon. A.R.I.B.A. in 1948, and was granted many similar honours (C.H., 1955, O.M., 1963).
Lit: Herbert Read, Henry Moore, Sculptor, 1934; Geoffrey Grigson, Henry Moore, 1943; Herbert Read (introd.), Henry Moore, Sculpture and Drawings, 1944; James Johnson Sweeney, Henry Moore, New York, 1946; A.D.B. Sylvester, ‘The Evolution of Henry Moore’s Sculpture’ in Burlington Magazine, XC, 1948, pp.158–65 and 189–95; Guilio Carlo Argan, Henry Moore, Turin, 1948; A.D.B. Sylvester, ‘Henry Moore’s Drawings’ in Britain Today, November 1948, pp.31–4; A.D.B. Sylvester, Catalogue, Arts Council Henry Moore exhibition, Tate Gallery, 1951; George Wingfield Digby, Meaning and Symbol in Three Modern Artists, 1955; Herbert Read (introd.), Henry Moore, Volume Two, Sculpture and Drawings since 1948, 1955; Herbert Read (introd.) and David Sylvester (ed.), Henry Moore, Volume One, Sculpture and Drawings 1921–1948 (4th ed. of Read, 1944), 1957; J.P. Hodin, Moore, 1958; Erich Neumann, The Archetypal World of Henry Moore, 1959; Will Grohmann, The Art of Henry Moore, 1960; John Russell, Henry Moore Stone and Wood Carvings, 1961.
[Adapted from: Mary Chamot, Dennis Farr and Martin Butlin, The Modern British Paintings, Drawings and Sculpture, London 1964, II]