Family Group

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  • Provenance

    Eric Estorick, London
    Acquired from the above by the family of the present owner in 1959

  • Exhibited

    London, The Leicester Galleries, Living Irish Art: New Sculpture and Drawings by Henry Moore, October 1946, no. 5, p. 11 (another example exhibited and illustrated)
    Paris, Berggruen & Cie., Henry Moore: sculptures et dessins, 1957 (another example exhibited and illustrated)
    Orange, Chapman College, Henry Moore, January 31 - February 14, 1964 (present lot exhibited)
    London, The Lefevre Gallery (Alex. Reid & Lefevre, Ltd.), Small Bronzes and Drawings by Henry Moore, November - December 1972, no. 11, pp. 28-29 (another example exhibited and illustrated)
    Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Henry Moore in Southern California, October 2 - November 18, 1973, no. 18, pp. 48, 265 (another example exhibited and illustrated)
    Hempstead, Hofstra Museum, Hofstra University; University Park, Museum of Art, Pennsylvania State University; Philadelphia, Arthur Ross Gallery, University of Pennsylvania; Baltimore Art Museum, Mother and Child: the Art of Henry Moore, September 10, 1987 - April 17, 1988, no. 30, p. 53 (present lot exhibited and illustrated, erroneously dated 1946)

  • Literature

    Will Grohmann, The Art of Henry Moore, London, 1960, pl. 121, p. 142 (another example illustrated)
    John Hedgecoe, ed., Henry Moore, New York, 1968, p. 162 (another example illustrated)
    Ionel Jianou, Henry Moore, Paris, 1968, no. 222, p. 74 (another example illustrated)
    Robert Melville, Henry Moore, Sculpture and Drawings, 1921-1969, London, 1970, no. 343, n.p. (another example illustrated)
    Giulio Carlo Argan, Henry Moore, New York, 1971, no. 81, n.p. (another example illustrated)
    William S. Lieberman, Henry Moore 60 Years of His Art, New York, 1983, pp. 63, 123 (another example illustrated)
    David Sylvester, ed., Henry Moore, Complete Sculpture 1921-1948, vol. 1, London, 1988, no. 235, p. 14 (terracotta version illustrated, p. 150)
    John Hedgecoe, ed., Henry Moore A Monumental Vision, Cologne, 2005, no. 237, p. 210 (illustrated)

  • Catalogue Essay

    Betty Sheinbaum started her remarkable collection with maquettes by modern master Henry Moore, whose trailblazing work she had discovered nearly twenty years earlier on a trip to England as a young woman. By the time she acquired the following works in 1959-1960 from the great British dealer Eric Estorick, who founded the Grosvenor Gallery in London, Moore’s reputation was growing, but he was still very much a radical contemporary artist. The following selection of bronzes demonstrates important themes in the artist’s oeuvre and a number influences on his signature exploration of figural forms.

    Executed in the early to mid-1950s, Maquette for Draped Reclining Woman and Maquette for Warrior without Shield are delightful examples of Moore’s dedication to the human form and his life-long interest in nature. Moore began exploring the subject of the reclining figure at the beginning of his career in the 1920s, and the pose became the artist’s most frequently recurring subject. In Maquette for Draped Reclining Woman, this archetypal pose is articulated with a graceful study of the female figure with expressive drapery emphasizing the form of her legs, likely influenced by the artist’s recent trip to Greece in 1951. Moore’s continued inspiration from nature is evident in Maquette for Warrior without Shield, the idea for which evolved from a pebble he found on the seashore in 1952. Reflecting on the inception of his group of Warrior sculptures, Moore recalled: “Just as Leonardo says somewhere in his notebooks that a painter can find a battle scene in the lichen marks on a wall, so this gave me the start of The Warrior idea. First I added the body, leg and one arm and it became a wounded warrior... A day or two later I added a shield and altered its position and arrangement into a seated figure and so it changed from an inactive pose into a figure which, though wounded, is still defiant” (Henry Moore, quoted in Philip James, ed., Henry Moore on Sculpture: a collection of the sculptor's writings and spoken words, London, 1966, p. 250).

    An intimate scene amongst a family unit, Family Group from 1945 encapsulates one of the most celebrated subjects in Moore’s artistic practice, which remains an enduring and universal motif of warmth and affection. The idea of the Family Group first came to Moore in the mid-1930s when invited to complete a large-scale sculpture for the new Village College in Impington, which was designed by Walter Gropius and Maxwell Fry. With the goal of creating a work that would resonate with both children and adults for the school commission in mind, Moore produced many preparatory drawings of families in different arrangements, a number of which were also modeled in clay and later cast in bronze. In the present work, a mother and father sit beside one another on a bench, each affectionately holding a small, loosely defined child. Executed in 1945, Family Group also dates to the period in which Moore was creating his celebrated Shelter Drawings that captured the tenacious spirit of Londoners during the Blitz and led to his appointment as the official war artist by Kenneth Clark. Encapsulating the tender resolve of families who clung together through the darkness of wartime, these drawings were certainly pivotal in his sculptural realization of the family unit.

    Betty Sheinbaum was one of the earliest American collectors of Henry Moore and the acquisition of such a superb and varied group of his works was a sign of a collector with a remarkable vision.

Ο107

The Modern Form: Property from the Collection of Betty and Stanley Sheinbaum

Family Group

bronze with brown patina, on wood base
sculpture 5 3/4 x 4 1/4 x 3 in. (14.6 x 10.8 x 7.6 cm.)
base 3/4 x 5 x 3 3/4 in. (1.9 x 12.7 x 9.5 cm.)
overall 6 1/2 x 5 x 3 3/4 in. (16.5 x 12.7 x 9.5 cm.)

Executed circa 1945, this work is from an edition of 9 plus 1 artist's proof.

This work is recorded in the archives of the Henry Moore Foundation.

Estimate
$400,000 - 600,000 

sold for $447,000

Contact Specialist
John McCord
Head of Day Sale, Morning Session
New York
+1 212 940 1261
jmccord@phillips.com

20th Century & Contemporary Art Day Sale Morning Session

New York Auction 16 May 2018