Henry Moore's gift to Wakefield goes on display in collection at Hepworth Gallery

Ruth Hazard | 23 March 2012
A photograph of a woman looking at pictures in a gallery
Local artist Cynthia Kenny has a particularly close connection to the display© Hannah Webster
Exhibition: Henry Moore’s Stones, The Hepworth, Wakefield, Until 22 April 2012

Back in 1977 Henry Moore heard that The Friends of Wakefield Art Galleries and Museums were trying to raise the money to buy his Fallen Plate (Plate VI). He was so touched by their efforts he gave them the entire series, Stonehenge Suite, for just £400.

The Wakefield native’s gift to his home borough is now to be displayed in the Hepworth gallery alongside another set of his prints, The Dantes Stones, on loan from the Henry Moore Foundation.

Cynthia Kenny was among the group of art enthusiasts that were involved in the fundraising effort to secure the Moore pieces.

A photograph of a woman and two men touching a bronze sculpture wearing conservation gloves
A group of visitors explore one of Moore's bronze sculptures© Hannah Webster
“Henry Moore travelled by car to Wakefield Art Gallery to deliver the works himself to Gillian Spencer, the Director”, She recalls.

“He told Gillian that he had been ‘greatly moved’ to learn of the fundraising and was delighted to give Stonehenge Suite to Wakefield.”
The Stonehenge series of lithographs emerged from sketches Moore made during his visits to the ancient stone structure in the Wiltshire countryside.

Together with the Dante series, the display highlights the artist’s interest in natural forms and the darkness and might of rocks.

Simon Wallis, Director of The Hepworth comments, “It’s wonderful to hear how these prints entered the collection, and exemplifies the importance of philanthropy to galleries and their collections.”

The pictures will be joined by Henry Moore’s bronze sculpture, Two Part Reclining Figure No. 4, which visitors will be able to explore through touch using conservation gloves provided by the gallery.

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