Over two days at the Paul Mellon Centre, London, and Henry Moore Studios & Gardens, Perry Green, speakers presented new research relating to the exhibition 'Becoming Henry Moore'. Talks explore not only the work of Henry Moore but also his contemporaries (including Barbara Hepworth and Ossip Zadkine), his education and his inspiration.

Over two days at the Paul Mellon Centre, London, and Henry Moore Studios & Gardens, Perry Green, speakers presented new research relating to the exhibition 'Becoming Henry Moore'. Talks explore not only the work of Henry Moore but also his contemporaries (including Barbara Hepworth and Ossip Zadkine), his education and his inspiration.

Tony Cragg talks about Henry Moore in the context of his environment in time and the meaning and influence of his work for sculpture.

Long before Herbert Read revised the fables of Moore’s early years to account for an “innate plastic sensibility which education might foster but could not create”, the context and circumstance of Moore’s early years directed and shaped the nature of his education. By tracing the social and circumstantial factors that facilitated Moore’s educational development, this paper argues for the fundamental significance of these experiences in the formation of his artistic outlook, placing Moore’s development in the context of educational and legislative reform at the beginning of the twentieth century. Robert James Sutton is an early career researcher interested in the democratic accountability of the public art produced in post-war Britain. Since the completion of his doctorate in 2015 he has taught at a number of institutions including CAPA, NYU London and the Universities of Coventry and Nottingham.

This paper will consider the critical history of Hepworth’s early life and work, and focus on methodological approaches which can help to strengthen understanding of the relevance of Hepworth’s formative years of inspiration and education, and of the connections and differences between a number of artists under discussion. Starting with the later reflections by Hepworth and those around her on the years before 1930, it will explore where else the reflections and existing knowledge on this period characterised by opportunity to travel and time for self-discovery might lead. Rachel Rose Smith is a curator, researcher and lecturer from mid-Cornwall, based in London. Her MA thesis on Hepworth and phenomenology (Tate Papers, no.20) led to an AHRC-funded collaborative doctoral project ‘Modern Art Movements and St Ives 1939-49’ (University of York and Tate, 2015). She was co-curator of ‘International Exchanges: Modern Art and St Ives 1915-65’ (Tate St Ives, 1914), then Bye-Fellow and Curator of the Heong Gallery at Downing College, Cambridge (2015-16), where she remains an Affiliate Lecturer. She is currently Assistant Curator of Modern British Art at Tate Britain.

This paper examines the shifting attitudes to classical sculpture which Moore and his peers witnessed and contributed to. An emergent appetite for alternative pasts—for the Sumerian and Pre-Columbian sculpture which so captivated Moore, for example—was but one element of an increasing doubt about the relevance of Greek and Roman art to the art of the day. Drawing from plaster copies of classical sculpture in the antique room had been a central part of art education for hundreds of years. This paper uses the new problems encountered by that practice to illuminate aspects of this debate, and to give a context for Moore's work. Alexander Massouras is an artist and cultural historian based at the Ruskin School of Art in Oxford, where he is a Leverhulme Early Career Fellow.

This paper draws a comparison between two sculptors’ experiences of the city in the twenties: Henry Moore and his predecessor Frank Dobson. Both artists received their formative training outside London and both became resident there after the First World War. At the beginning of the decade, Dobson was the foremost advocate and practitioner of avant-garde sculpture in Britain and Moore was a student at the Royal College of Art. Their respective experiences of the city’s cultural life and the new photographic or cinematic technologies of vision that formed urban experience in the years after the War sharpened their individual concerns as artists. By the end of the decade, Moore and Dobson had themselves added to the modern cityscape, contributing relief works in the public realm (Moore’s West Wind, 1928 and Dobson’s Faience Panels, 1930). Ultimately, neither sculptor found the medium satisfying, and their comments on the experience tell us something of the nature of their divergent sensibilities amid the technological modernity of the city: Dobson’s materialism versus Moore’s vitalism. Inga Fraser is a researcher, writer and curator based in London. Currently she is an AHRC-funded collaborative doctoral student with Tate and the Royal College of Art, looking at artists’ engagement with cinema in Britain in the first half of the twentieth century. Inga was previously Assistant Curator of Modern British Art at Tate, where she curated the display Paule Vézelay (201