Segments in this Video

Henry Moore: Modern Artist (01:41)


Speaking or writing about his job allows an artist to release tension, but expressing ideas may make him a theorist. Moore explored the human figure in natural forms for sculpturing and painting.

Moore's Childhood and Early Life (02:20)

Moore believes people place too much emphasis on his coal mining background. His mother’s ailing back and a rock in a natural landscape near Yorkshire influenced his sculptures.

Moore's Early Artistic Talents and Goals (01:49)

Growing up, Moore drew everything, especially animals, trees, and figures. He always wanted to be a sculptor. An Army grant allowed him to attend the Leeds School of Art.

Mexican and European Influences (02:24)

Ancient Mexican art at the British Art Museum formed Moore’s view of carving. After a trip to Europe it took him a long time to mix the Mediterranean approach with his original style.

Art Themes and Beauty (02:17)

Moore has always been obsessed with the mother and child motif. The reclining figure is another of his themes. Moore believes that beauty is a deeper concept than perfection.

Religious Versus Secular Art (01:35)

Moore believes the Madonna and Child should have an austerity, nobility, and grandeur that the mother and child sculptures do not. These symbolize religious art versus secular art.

Marriage and New Art Forms (02:51)

Moore’s view of marriage changed after meeting Irma Radetzsky. Moore preferred contrasting forms, the relationships in forms, and the Surrealists’ idea of creativity and man.

Drawings and Stringed Figures (01:51)

Moore used drawings to generate ideas for his sculptures. He also like drawing for its own enjoyment. His string figures represent his most abstract form of art.

Abstraction and Human Figures (02:06)

The reclining figure is one of Moore’s main themes. A material’s qualities and abstract ideas affect his work. Reclining gives more compositional and spatial freedom than standing or seated figures.

Moore: Meaning and Architecture (02:13)

Sculptures should have obscurities, deeper meanings, and mystery. Sculptures must have their own identity and a spatial relationship with a building it sits next to.

Tactile, Reality, Space, and Form (02:07)

Sculpture is a mixture of visual and tactile experience. Art is not an escape from life but an expression of the significance of life. According to Moore, space and form are inseparable.

Artists' Subjects and Sculpture (02:19)

Artists need a subject, like Moore’s reclining figure theme, with which to experiment and invent. The appreciation of sculpture depends on one’s ability to respond to form in three dimensions.

Impact of World War II on Moore's Art (03:37)

Moore’s sketches of London’s underground shelters captured the real experience and tension of war. War made Moore more sensitive, as seen in “Memorial Figure.”

Influences on Artists and Motifs (02:46)

Artists incorporate both life experiences and imagination into their work. Moore’s first child inspired the family group motif and the "King and Queen" sculptures.

Warrior Statues and the Human Body (02:55)

A pebble at the seashore inspired the “Falling Warrior” motif. Art and life are made up of conflicts. Great art is not perfect. All sculpture is based on the human body.

Bronze Medium and Upright Figures (01:43)

Bronze as a medium allows sculpting upright figures. The vertical “Upright Motives” contrasts with the building’s horizontal lines. Its three figures remind Moore of the crucifixion.

Influence of Armor and Bones on Moore (02:30)

Armor influenced Moore’s sculptures of one form inside another. The outer form, like armor protects the inner form. The shape of bones has many sculptural and structural principles.

Relationship of Human Head and the Body (01:42)

Moore disagreed with his critics about the importance of his sculptures’ heads. The reduced size of the head gives scale, poise, and meaning. Form captures more than facial expressions.

Two-Piece Statues, Form, and Energy (03:08)

Moore simplified his reclining theme’s essential elements with two separate pieces. Form has many meanings, depending on the viewer’s association. Moore hopes his work has energy and vitality.

Three Piece Sculptures and Erotic Images (01:53)

Moore’s “Three Piece” sculptures solved the problem of relationship found in his two piece sculptures. Some viewers see unintended erotic images in Moore’s sculptures.

Settings for Moore's Sculptures (01:46)

Sculpture is art of the open air and requires daylight. Nature is the best setting for sculpture. Two of Moore’s urban sculptures include “Wall Relief” and the “Time-Life Screen.”

Three Unique Sculptures (03:40)

Moore used travertine marble from Carrara, Italy, for “UNESCO Reclining Figure.” Two locked pebbles inspired “Locking Piece.” Moore used a mirror effect for “Mirror Knife Edge.”

Urban Sculptures, Art, and Religion (01:36)

Moore considers point of view and size for sculptures that compliment buildings, such as his piece at the Lincoln Center. Moore believes art is akin to religion and that art is a religion itself.

Drawing and Sheep (02:55)

Moore eventually separated his drawings and sculptures. Drawing forced him to become an intense observer. He placed “Sheep Piece” in a field of sheep since their size compliments sculptures.

Influences on Artists and Nature (03:42)

A combined life time of influences affects one’s art. Great artists create their own style, energy, and vitality, and have power that extends perceptions. Moore looks to nature for renewal.

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The Art of Henry Moore

Part of the Series : The Art of .. Series
DVD Price: $169.95
DVD (Chaptered) Price: $169.95
DVD + 3-Year Streaming Price: $254.93
3-Year Streaming Price: $169.95



Henry Moore’s work is so representative of mid-20th-century modernist concerns that a generation of art viewers may be unfamiliar with it. This program facilitates a rediscovery of the brilliant sculptor and draftsman by freshly examining many of his drawings, graphics, and monuments. From his most iconic pieces to his lesser-known works, including the amazingly relevant WWII-era tube shelter sketches, Moore’s sensitive vision emerges with startling clarity. Footage from sites in the United States, Italy, and England, including the 2003 Tate Modern exhibition—as well as narration drawn from the artist’s own words—bring his remarkable career to life. (61 minutes)

Length: 61 minutes

Item#: BVL34641

ISBN: 978-1-4213-1964-3

Copyright date: ©2004

Closed Captioned

Reviews & Awards

“The narrative text of the film is very effectively composed of the artist’s own observations and reflections…. These, together with an abundance of new and archival visual materials, bring the man and his work very much to life.” —Educational Media Reviews Online

Performance Rights

Prices include public performance rights.