"Landscape has been for me one of the sources of my energy...I find that all natural forms are a source of unending interest - tree trunks...the texture and variety of grasses...The whole of Nature is an endless demonstration of shape and form." - Henry Moore, Energy in Space, 1973
The New York Botanical Garden will host the largest outdoor exhibition of Henry Moore's sculpture ever presented in a single venue in America. The collection of approximately 20 major pieces will open at the Botanical Garden on May 24, 2008, during the height of the spring flowering season. These magnificent works will be positioned throughout the Garden's 250 acres and among its 50 gardens and plant collections and will remain on view through November 2, 2008.
Henry Moore, born in 1898 in Castleford, Yorkshire, is one of the world's best known and most beloved 20th-century sculptors. Moore's first solo show of sculpture was held in London in 1928. In 1943 he received a commission from the Church of St. Matthew, Northampton, UK, to carve Madonna and Child, the first in an important series of family-group sculptures. Moore was given his first major retrospective outside of England by the Museum of Modern Art, New York, in 1946. He won the International Prize for Sculpture at the Venice Biennale of 1948. In 1963 the artist was awarded the British Order of Merit. Moore died in Much Hadham, Hertfordshire, in 1986.
Henry Moore intended that his monumental works of sculpture be presented in expansive landscapes so that their mass and size could be seen from many angles, in great variety of light, and in differing seasons. He wanted people to get up close and touch them. The New York Botanical Garden fits his intent perfectly, offering sweeping, undulating terrain, diverse plant collections, and captivating gardens with the appropriate scale and beauty to complement his sculpture. One of the finest botanical gardens in the world and the most treasured and beloved landscapes in New York City, it offers appealing outdoor venues for such an exhibition, including the vicinity surrounding the landmark Enid A. Haupt Conservatory, the Beaux-Arts Library building with its expansive lawns and a cathedral-like tulip tree alleé, two spectacular conifer collections, and one of the finest rose gardens in America.
New York City, as one of the world capitals of art and culture, is filled with people who know and love the work of Henry Moore, appreciate compelling art, and are committed museum goers. The combination of fine Moore sculptures and the spectacular Garden settings will draw New Yorkers as well as visitors with great enthusiasm to this exhibition, which travels to the Atlanta Botanical Garden in 2009.