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Henry Moore Institute Newsletter

127  |  November-December 2016

Our November Newsletter coincides with the launch on Wednesday 23 November of our autumn exhibition City Sculpture Projects 1972. We welcome everyone to join us from 6pm to celebrate sculpture in the city, looking back forty-four years to City Sculpture Project. This landmark moment in the history of British art was organised by Jeremy Rees and Anthony Stokes across eight cities in England and Wales in 1972. Our exhibition tells a story of sculpture as a part of active urban life highlighting, to quote Rees, ‘what the sculptor is trying to say.’ For us at the Henry Moore Institute, listening to sculptors on sculpture is always central.
Leeds, where the Henry Moore Institute is based, is a city filled with sculpture. It was here Henry Moore began his training. When he formed the Henry Moore Foundation in 1977 his vision was to make Leeds a place where people could study and enjoy sculpture; for this reason the Henry Moore Institute was founded. Seeing Moore's sculpture in the heart of Leeds, where people encounter it on a daily basis, places him at the centre of the city. His ‘Reclining Woman: Elbow’ (1981) can be seen outside Leeds Art Gallery, a sculpture that is part of the Henry Moore Foundation’s collection. The sculpture collection of Leeds Museums and Galleries, which is managed by the Institute, also holds a number of important sculptures by Moore, including Three Piece Reclining Figure No. 2: Bridge Prop’ (1963). This winter it will be installed on the campus of the University of Leeds where it will join Barbara Hepworth’s ‘Dual Form’ (1965), another key work in the collection.
Sculpture in Leeds has a long history – stepping out of Leeds rail station you are immediately confronted with a group of sculptures by Alfred Drury that art historian Benedict Read insisted was an example of sculpture in the expanded field before the term was invented. Last month Ben passed away, leaving a legacy of rigorous study of Victorian sculpture and an enthusiasm for sculpture in the city. He was a great friend of the Institute and all those interested in sculpture, and he will be much missed. We were privileged at the Institute to learn from him and share his good humour on many occasions. In October he contributed to our Leeds Collections Single Sculpture Lecture series, discussing Thomas Woolner's ‘Bust of John Fowler’ (1866). The lively discussion closed with a promise that on reopening next year, Leeds Art Gallery would celebrate Victorian sculpture alongside painting; bringing sculpture out from the corners into the centre of the galleries. As Ben closed his talk he left a gentle reminder that cities are filled with sculpture, and he advised us to look carefully and seek them out, as sculpture always had something to teach us.

Lisa Le Feuvre, Head of Sculpture Studies


New Exhibition: City Sculpture Projects 1972

24 November 2016 – 19 February 2017, Galleries 1, 2 & 3

In the summer of 1972, sculpture was the talk of the town – debated, photographed and written about in the national and regional press. This was down to City Sculpture Project, a hugely ambitious scheme (coordinated by the Arnolfini in Bristol and funded by the Peter Stuyvesant Foundation) that commissioned large-scale sculptures for public spaces in eight cities across England and Wales (Birmingham, Cambridge, Cardiff, Liverpool, Newcastle, Plymouth, Sheffield and Southampton). From William Turnbull’s multi-part ‘Angle’ in Liverpool, to Luise Kimme’s red and blue fibreglass sculpture in Newcastle, from Liliane Lijn’s revolving cone in Plymouth to William Pye’s stainless steel ‘Mirage’ in Cardiff, City Sculpture Project set out to rethink sculpture’s relation to the urban environment and its viewers.
City Sculpture Projects 1972 revisits an important moment in the history of public sculpture in Britain, looking at how this project showcased sculpture that moved away from bronze and traditional commemoration and staged dialogues between abstract sculpture and people living and working in the city. These urban environments were all outside the capital and this 1972 project, as our exhibition shows, boldly challenged established viewing habits, aiming to integrate contemporary sculpture in the bustle of city life.
Our exhibition presents sculptures and maquettes alongside photographs and archival material from this landmark public art initiative. City Sculpture Projects 1972 revisits material that has not been seen in public for over forty years to tell the story of this fascinating project through proposals that were both realised and unrealised. Taking centre stage outside our building, overlooking Leeds’ busiest thoroughfare is Nicholas Monro’s extraordinary five metre tall ‘King Kong’, originally on display in Birmingham, as can be seen in the image above.
Eleanor Antin: ‘CARVING: A Traditional Sculpture’ (1972)
Until 3 January 2017, Gallery 4

Eleanor Antin’s (b. 1935) ‘CARVING: A Traditional Sculpture’ is a key work in the history of conceptual art. The artist set out to carve a figurative sculpture, with her material her own body. Between 15 July and 21 August 1972 Antin reduced her food intake, and each morning was photographed from the left, back and right. This sculpture takes the form of four rows of thirty-seven photographs, each day documenting the barely perceptible paring back of Antin's form. As the artist noted in 1973, the only difference between her sculpture and traditional Greek sculpture is ‘in the material. Their resources allowed them to use marble while mine was my body. Standard poor man’s material one might say.’
Although taking the material form of photographs, Antin insisted on the status of her 1972 work as sculpture: its medium is the human body. More than forty years after it was made, and after three decades of its appearance in the curricula of art history courses, this exhibition provides an opportunity to study what this 'traditional sculpture' means for sculpture studies today.

Lisa Le Feuvre's 9 November lecture on Eleanor Antin is available to listen to in our Research Library.
Our exhibition research was conducted in Antin's Archives at the Getty Research Institute, supported by a Collaborative Museum Grant from the Association of Art Historians.
2017 Exhibition Programme Highlights
Our forthcoming exhibition programme brings an incredible range of sculpture to Leeds in 2017.

January begins with a focused exhibition in Gallery 4 on the work of Roy Ascott (b. 1934) – a pioneering British sculptor and an influential teacher who has worked in the fields of cybernetics, telematics and telecommunications since 1960.
Similarly interrogating technological developments, our 2017 sculpture commission presents new work by Berlin-based artist Aleksandra Domanović (b. 1981). In her first exhibition dedicated to sculpture, we bring together works made over the last five years and invite the artist to respond to our building and gallery spaces. At the same time, Gallery 4 will show work by Ghisha Koenig (1921–93). Koenig dedicated her sculptural practice to the study of factory workers. Displaying sketchbooks, sculptures and large scroll drawings, this exhibition shows Koenig's search for humanity within industry.
From July 2017 our main galleries will be dedicated to Japanese sculptor Jirō Takamatsu (1936–98). Takamatsu applied sculptural thinking to explore how perception can change the ‘temperature’ of our surrounding world. The Temperature of Sculpture is the first European solo exhibition of Takamatsu’s work, tracing the artist's artistic practice through his exhibition history.
In Gallery 4, plaster models and material drawn from the Henry Moore Institute Archive of Sculptors’ Papers will be shown in the first solo sculpture exhibition of Mary Gillick (1881–1965); the sculptor whose portrait of Queen Elizabeth II featured on all British and Commonwealth coinage until decimalisation in 1971.

October 2017 sees the reopening of our Sculpture Study Galleries and, for the first time, David Dye’s (1945–2015) working drawings, sketchbooks and correspondence - a generous bequest from the artist – will be made public, displayed alongside key works that deploy objects, mirrors and film.
Our final main gallery show of 2017 is a return to our origins as we present Becoming Henry Moore, which comes to us from Henry Moore Studios & Gardens.  This exhibition presents Moore’s work from the 1920s in dialogue with artists who inspired him and worked alongside him. It includes work from his contemporaries Barbara Hepworth (1903–75) and Leon Underwood (1890–1975), to the European avant-gardes Constantin Brancusi (1876–1957) and Pablo Picasso (1881–1973) as well as examples of African, Aztec and Cycladic art.


Recent Acquisitions

The Henry Moore Institute manages the Leeds Sculpture Collection on behalf of Leeds Museums and Galleries, which includes the development of the collection through new acquisitions. Since its formation in 1888 the collection has benefited enormously from philanthropic gifts and bequests, a tradition that continues to this day and which has resulted in a number of important recent acquisitions.
The family of Hugo Powell (1919–2014) has donated a group of four carved wooden abstract sculptures made in the late 1950s and early 1960s, titled ‘Sentinel’, ‘Jewish Bride’, ‘Five Variations on a Theme’ and an untitled work. The gift also includes material for the Archive of Sculptors’ Papers, including three photograph albums of work from the 1930s to the 1960s and technical drawings for ‘Five Variations on a Theme’.
An untitled floor-based aluminium sculpture (1967–8) by John Panting (1940–74) has been presented by Robin and Sarah Greenwood in memory of Julie Panting. This acquisition complements the works on paper by Panting already in the collection and his sculpture which is display as part of City Sculpture Projects 1972 (24 November 2016 – 19 February 2017).
Yana Peel has recently presented ‘I Can See You’ (2006) by Gary Webb (b.1973); an exuberant mixed-media sculpture composed of brightly-coloured, highly-polished forms suspended from a steel cage-like structure.

We are tremendously grateful to the donors of these exciting acquisitions and we look forward to including them in forthcoming collections displays and making them available for scholarship.


Internship Report

Each year we invite applications for four funded internships from students across MA programmes at UK universities. The internships are aimed at students who have a research interest in sculpture and are intended to provide practical experience of working in a museum environment. Details for next year’s internships are available on our website.
Rory Menage (MA Creative Practice, Leeds College of Art) reports on his 2016 project, which culminated in a Library Display this summer:
‘In 2005 the Leeds Sculpture Collection acquired the archive of John Bunting (1927–2002): six works on paper, three sculptures, and a large collection of photographs, negatives, letters and self-published works, which are held in the Henry Moore Institute Archive of Sculptors’ Papers.
Evacuated from north London as a child, Bunting came to be an influential sculptor and teacher based in North Yorkshire. During his career at Ampleforth College he taught Antony Gormley (b. 1950), Martin Jennings (b. 1957) and Charles Hadcock (1965), whilst also undertaking several commissions for schools, churches, hospitals and collectors across northern England.
My MA Internship was dedicated to listing this material for the benefit of future researchers, and conserving delicate photographs that evidence his body of work. It is a fascinating archive – one highlight, for example, is the collection of 200 letters from his friend Leon Underwood (1890–1975) which give a rare glimpse into the trials and tribulations of being a figurative sculptor during the height of Pop Art and Minimalism.
I interviewed Antony Gormley on the telephone to document his experiences of Bunting’s teaching in the art room, and was also able to see Bunting’s sculpture first hand in the surroundings of Ampleforth College in the North York Moors. I was given the opportunity to curate a small display of archive material in the Institute’s Research Library including two sculptures by Bunting from the collection. Bunting dedicated several years converting a hilltop barn in the village of Oldstead into a memorial chapel for three Ampleforth pupils killed in the Second World War, and filled this with large-scale pieces. This chapel was therefore decided to be an overarching theme for the display.
I am very grateful to Archivist Claire Mayoh and the Institute for giving me the opportunity to work with them on this project. I loved the experience and felt privileged to be part of the Institute.’
The Institute’s Archive of Sculptors’ Papers is available to visit by appointment.


On Display

Our Research Library holds a wealth of resources for those interested in sculpture. Open seven days a week, we welcome readers to explore this unique reference resource, learn about the history of sculpture or explore the expanded field of contemporary sculpture.
With more than 27,000 books, exhibition catalogues, journals and audio-visual items, the Library is an outstanding resource for the study of sculpture. We regularly highlight the collection in Library displays, and currently on display is a selection of manuals on sculpture techniques published between 1890 and 1940. The handbooks mainly deal with modelling in clay and were written by leading sculptors of the period including Gilbert Bayes (1872–1953), Albert Toft (1862–1949), Edouard Lantéri (1848–1917), and Charles Sargeant Jagger (1885–1934). Many contain photographs of work in progress, details of tools and materials used and the role of drawing and plaster casts. These publications are a valuable source of information about studio practice and the place of modelling at this period and can be consulted in the Research Library.


Visiting Research Fellow

Our Research programme invites scholars and artists from all over the world to use our resources to develop new thinking on sculpture. We are currently calling for applications for our 2017–18 Visiting Fellows.

Daniel Zec (Senior Curator, Museum of Fine Arts, Osijek) was one of our 2011–12 Visiting Research Fellows, where he spent four weeks researching the work of Oscar Nemon (1906–85), whose papers are a part of our Archive. Here he describes the publication, titled Oscar Nemon: Memoirs, Essays, Reviews and Records (Osijek, Muzej likovnih umjetnosti, 2016).
‘Published this year in Croatia by Osijek Museum of Fine Arts, my monograph Oscar Nemon: Memoirs, Essays, Reviews and Records focuses on the life and work of Oscar Nemon, a Croatian born sculptor who spent the major part of his life and artistic career in England. Thirty years after the death of an artist who portrayed some of the most influential and the most prominent personalities of the twentieth century – Sigmund Freud, Winston Churchill, Queen Elizabeth II, Dwight Eisenhower, and Margaret Thatcher – this book is published in a small print run as a Croatian language edition.
The content of the monograph is divided in three parts. The introductory section consists of my foreword and an essay by Sir John Rothenstein. The central part of the book is taken up by the memoirs of Oscar Nemon, originally entitled Sculptor's Recollections, which are for the first time published in their entirety. The third unit of the book comprises previously published articles and essays by various authors on Oscar Nemon. The final part consists of the artist's concise biography, list of exhibitions and bibliography’.

Henry Moore Foundation Post-doctoral Research Fellowships 2017–19

Alongside our Visiting Research Fellows, we support two-year Post-doctoral Research Fellows who are based at British Universities and at the Henry Moore Institute. We are currently calling for applicants to the 2017–19 Henry Moore Foundation Post-doctoral Research Fellowships.
Supported by the Henry Moore Foundation’s Grants Programme, we are seeking up to three two-year Post-doctoral Research Fellows in the field of sculpture studies. The Fellowships assist scholars who have recently completed doctoral studies to prepare a substantial publication or similar research output.

The Foundation awards a grant of £21,000 per annum towards the Fellowship, and the scheme is managed by the Henry Moore Institute. Applicants must have an affiliation with a British university department who will host the Fellow from April 2017. 

Deadline for applications: 3 February 2017.

For more information see our website.

Conference Report

Each year we host over a hundred powerful discussions, bringing the brightest thinkers together to share ideas. In October, alongside our exhibition The Body Extended: Sculpture and Prosthetics, we co-organised the conference 3DMe: Dialogues about Prosthetic Extensions, Perceptions and RepresentationsRachael Gillibrand (University of Leeds) reports on the proceedings:

'To mark the closing weekend of The Body Extended: Sculpture and Prosthetics exhibition, the Henry Moore Institute joined forces with the University of Leeds and the Thackray Medical Museum to host 3DMe: Dialogues about Prosthetic Extensions, Perceptions and Representations – an interdisciplinary conference dedicated to the discussion of prostheses within technical, artistic and museum contexts.

Despite the broad range of speakers (from an equally broad range of backgrounds), overarching themes of language, technology and identity were established. The relationship between these core issues was apparent from the outset, with the first session immediately provoking questions about terminology used to refer to individuals using prostheses. The discussion asked if the right term was ‘patient’, ‘client’, ‘user’ or, as speaker Philip Sheridan pointed out, simply ‘Phil’. The day went on to consider the boundaries of the self, asking whether the biological body plays a role in the construction of individual identities. The conference concluded with a discussion about the ‘Museum Effect’, led by Sam Alberti, and the consequent dangers of displaying historical prostheses as artefacts divorced from the body.
Overall, the conference provided a thought-provoking space for the discussion of disability and prostheses within contemporary society. Reflecting medically, academically and artistically upon physical impairments, 3DMe encouraged authentic public debate on both the technological and linguistic ‘extensions’ and ‘limitations’ of the human body.'
A recording of the conference is held in our Research Library.


Forthcoming Events

Unless otherwise noted, events are free and take place at the Henry Moore Institute
Bookings via

Wednesday 23 November, 2-4pm
Gallery Discussion: City Sculpture Projects 1972

Including Nicholas Monro, Nigel Hall, Brower Hatcher, Garth Evans and Liliane Lijn, with Joanne Baxendale (Arts Council England and member of the Fourth Plinth Commissioning Group), Lisa Le Feuvre and exhibition curator Dr Jon Wood (Henry Moore Institute).
Wednesday 30 November, 6pm
Lecture: Tony Stokes (Independent and the coordinator of ‘City Sculpture Project, Arnolfini)

City Sculpture Project: A Personal Reflection

Wednesday 30 November, 7.30pm
Book Launch:
 Nicholas Pope: Works on Paper

Wednesday 7 December, 6pm
Leeds Collection Single Sculpture Lecture: Michael Uva (Independent)

Leslie Thornton’s 'The Gladiators' (c. 1958) 

Monday 12 December, 6-7pm
Godfrey Worsdale: Henry Moore Foundation Director’s Christmas Talk

Henry Moore Lecture Theatre, Leeds Art Gallery, followed by mulled wine and mince pies in the Henry Moore Institute reception
Wednesday 18 January, 6pm
Lecture: Prof. Susan Tebby (Independent and formerly De Montfort University)

City Sculpture Project Sheffield: Kenneth Martin and Stewart Mason: A Personal Reflection 

Wednesday 25 January, 6-8pm
Seminar: Stewart Mason: Education, Collection, Exhibition

Including Peter Cunningham (Cambridge University), Jeremy Howard (St. Andrews) and Alison Yarrington (Loughborough University)

Saturday 28 January, 2-5.30pm
Water, Fountain, Sculpture
In collaboration with Godehard Janzing (Deutsches Forum für Kunstgeschichte)
Image: Nicholas Monro, 'King Kong' (1972), Manzoni Gardens, Birmingham
Photographer unknown, Arnolfini Archive at Bristol Record Office, BRO 43371-Dept-Exh-3-1-11-012


Conference: The Voice of the Artist

Saturday 12 December 9.45am–6pm
Courtauld Institute of Art, London

Organised by National Life Stories at the British Library, TateHenry Moore Institute and The Courtauld Institute of Art
This one-day conference explores the importance, relevance and complications of the life story approach. In panels dedicated to speaking, listening and interpreting, The Voice of the Artist brings together artists, their interlocutors, experts in creating oral history archives, and users of the rich research material. By paying attention to speaking, listening and hearing, the role of oral history in shaping different approaches to writing the history of art will be discussed and contested.

Keynote speaker will be novelist and screenwriter William Boyd, who has been recorded for National Life Stories: Authors' Lives, and will be talking about his biography of the abstract expressionist Nat Tate, only revealed to be a spoof after being taken seriously by some reviewers and art historians. Multiple perspectives will be given by other speakers who have all been intimately involved with Artists’ Lives.

The conference coincides with the exhibition Artists’ Lives: Speaking of the Kasmin Gallery at Tate Britain from 28 November, and is preceded by Nicholas Serota, Kasmin and Fiona MacCarthy in conversation at Tate Britain at 6.30pm on 9 December.

Artists’ Lives is run by National Life Stories at the British Library in association with Tate. The Henry Moore Foundation, the Henry Moore Institute and the Yale Center for British Art have been closely involved with the project since its inception. Issue 69 of the Institute's Journal, Essays on Sculpture, gives an overview of the project, and interviews with sculptors are available on the Institute website.
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