A display of works by Henry Moore will be on show at the British Council's London headquarters from 1 December 2015. The display showcases a selection of etchings and lithographs from the British Council Collection that travelled as a touring exhibition, Henry Moore - The Printmaker, to countries across Eastern Europe and Central Asia from 2013-15.

Henry Moore - The Printmaker attracted over 80,000 visitors when it toured to Albania, Kazakhstan, Macedonia, Montenegro, Kosovo, Serbia and Uzbekistan. The London exhibition, Henry Moore Comes Home, has been curated by David Mitchinson, past assistant to Henry Moore and former Head of Collections and Exhibitions at The Henry Moore Foundation; and will give UK audiences the opportunity to view works by Moore, and will tell the story of the enduring influence of one of the UK’s best-loved artists abroad.

The display will feature 35 works on paper by Moore, including lithographs of his characteristic reclining figures and selected etchings from his ‘Elephant Skull’ album, carried out in the late 1960s following a gift of an elephant’s skull to the artist.

Extensive photographic and digital material gathered from artists, visitors, curators and institutions will reveal the lasting impact of the exhibition’s journey and of the artist’s legacy in the Eastern European and Central Asia region, which has spanned more than seven decades.

Personal stories and artistic connections to Moore will highlight his enduring influence on Eastern European and Central Asian art scenes; including the story of the Albanian artist Maks Velo, who in 1978 was exposed to Moore’s work for the first time and subsequently prosecuted for the ‘modernist tendencies’ in his artistic output. In Montenegro, the exhibition was visited by one in four residents of the city, leading the country’s National Museum to develop longer-term plans to improve community engagement and to attract new, younger audiences to the Museum.

The exhibition paved the way for numerous other government-led cultural initiatives in the countries to which it toured, including the re-opening in 2014 of the National Gallery in Belgrade; the initiation of extensive and on-going museum and gallery training programmes across the region; and the re-launch of the British Council’s arts programme in Tashkent in 2015, leading to agreements with the Uzbek government for collaborative projects around cultural policy, skills and English teaching.

Find out more about the exhibition and Henry Moore's work in print here

Emma Dexter, Director Visual Arts at the British Council, said: “The recent international tour of Henry Moore's prints has reached new and unfamiliar audiences, further enhancing the reputation of one of Britain's best loved artists and creating exciting opportunities for arts professionals and institutions. This exhibition, Henry Moore Comes Home, movingly demonstrates the power of great art to open minds and inspire generations of artists and art lovers, irrespective of borders or national differences."

David Mitchinson, curator of 'Henry Moore Comes Home', said: “Having selected the prints for Moore’s gift to the British Council more than 30 years ago, it has been a fantastic privilege to be reacquainted with so many of them on their progress around the western Balkans and Central Asia. Talking to new, predominately young audiences made me realise the continuing enthusiasm for Henry Moore’s work and British art in general.”

Godfrey Worsdale, Director of The Henry Moore Foundation, said: “Henry Moore's association with the British Council lasted for more than half of his long life and it was a relationship that played a significant part in enabling him to achieve the status of being Britain's first truly international artist. Across many decades, the British Council has demonstrated how its work can be instrumental in establishing artists internationally, and with Henry Moore in particular, the collaboration demonstrated repeatedly how an artist and his work can support the aims of the British Council. This particular exhibition shines a light on an important part of Henry Moore's creativity and, following on from the show's international impact, it is tremendous that the works are coming home.”

The British Council first began to purchase works by Moore for its permanent Collection in the 1940s, and all works were acquired directly from the artist. In 1984, on the occasion of the British Council’s 50th anniversary, Moore gifted over 200 of his prints to the British Council Collection, now one of the foremost collections of 20th and 21st century British art in the world. In 1984, Moore wrote:

It gives me much pleasure to present these works for the British Council’s 50th Birthday. My graphic work has often been an introduction to many people who have gone on to look at sculpture. I am very pleased that they will now be out on exhibition with the British Council, being seen by so many people around the world.”

With 427 works, including carvings, bronzes (including the monumental Woman, 1957), bronze maquettes, drawings and graphics, Henry Moore is the most represented artist in the British Council Collection.

'Henry Moore Comes Home' will be open to the public until 19th February and a catalogue will be published to accompany the exhibition. Open daily, 10.00 – 18.00 except for Christmas and New Year bank holidays.


'Henry Moore: the Printmaker' exhibition venues:

Museum of Contemporary Art, Skopje, Macedonia

Montenegrin Art Gallery ‘Miodrag Dado Djuric’, Cetinje

National Art Gallery, Tirana, Albania

A. Kasteev State Museum of Arts, Almaty, Kazakhstan

National Art Gallery, Pristina, Kosovo

National Museum, Belgrade, Serbia

Museum of Vojvodina, Novi Sad, Serbia

State Museum of Arts, Tashkent, Uzbekistan