Henry Moore was born in 1898 a small coal-mining town in Northern England. His father wanted him to be a teacher so Moore went to school to become one, but he had to stop because World War I began and he was called to join the British Army.

After the war Moore became interested in drawing and sculpting and was later awarded a scholarship to the Royal College of Art in London. Moore loved to visit the British Museum because of its marvelous collection of ancient sculpture. Moore was fascinated by simple unusual beauty. The primitive works and ancient Mexican and African carvings influenced Moore's style of sculpting.

World War II came and it changed Moore as an artist. He made several sketches of people sleeping in the underground bomb shelters and soon people thought of him an artist who could communicate strong messages to ordinary people.

Sometimes Moore shocked the public with his artwork. In 1929 he began making holes in the solid masses of his sculptures. He wanted to show the beauty of opened out sculpture whose cavities enhanced and worked in harmony with the rest of the form. This was very unconventional.

Moore became a highly honored British artist and he celebrated his eightieth birthday at the London Hyde Park, where thousands of children came to see his exhibit of sculptures that had smooth surfaces and empty spaces.
 

 

 ROCKING CHAIR NO. 2 - This bronze sculpture almost makes your eyes rock back and forth gently by looking at it. This was created in a series of Moore's own childhood memories. 

You can see that this sculpture has very simple faces and bodies. Moore chose to focus on the smooth, flowing curves of the form and the way they balance and relate to each other instead of including all the details.

This sculpture almost seems like a smooth wood carving. Moore was also sensitive to the nature of the materials he was working with-bronze, wood or stone-relying on the 'feel' to guide him in the shape a sculpture took. He often repeated the themes of mother and child, or family, and reclining figures.

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