Date of Birth: 30/7/1898
The son of a coal miner, Moore was born in Castleford, West Yorkshire, and was by far one of the leading British artists of his generation. Described as "radical, experimental and avant-garde", Moore was celebrated and commissioned worldwide. His work introduced Modernism to a wide public and contributed to a seismic shift in sculpture. Although best known as a sculptor, he produced an important body of drawings in the wartime years which were to profoundly influence his post-war sculptural work. Henry Moore showed promise at an early age, winning a scholarship to the local grammar school. In 1917 he travelled to London to enlist in the 15th London Regiment. In 1919 he returned to Yorkshire to attend Leeds College of Art where he was the first student to study sculpture. Two years later Moore won a scholarship to the Royal College of Art in London and he drew extensively from sculpture in the British Museum. Drawing continued to play a vital role in his work, becoming of paramount importance during the early years of the Second World War, when he produced some of his most powerful and moving drawings, studies of Londoners sheltering from the Blitz in the Underground. The War Artists' Advisory Committee (WAAC) bought Moore's shelter drawings and he accepted a commission to draw more. The committee also sent him to Yorkshire to make illustrations of coal miners. Moore returned to sculpture with the Madonna and Child, commissioned for St Matthew's Church, Northampton and unveiled in February 1944. After the War he produced various public commissions; one of the most prestigious was a sculpture for the new UNESCO headquarters in Paris, installed in 1958. The Henry Moore Foundation is a registered charity, founded by the artist in 1977 to encourage public appreciation of the visual arts, and in particular the works of Henry Moore.