Prof. Pauline Rose’s professional output

Photography and Sculpture: Portraying Henry Moore

Conference – Published 24th Nov 09

Photographs of British sculptor Henry Moore’s home, studio and public sculptures shaped perceptions of him and thus essentially functioned as a form of portraiture. Images of Moore in his home and studio established a sense of ‘gentlemanly’ yet workmanlike production. Significantly, many of the personal and artistic attributes ascribed to and encouraged by Moore derived from photographs and films of him and of his sculptures around the world. Moore’s personality, appearance and the geographical location of his home and studio in the English countryside combined to create a powerful portrait of the artist. These ranged from a merging of Moore the man with Moore the sculptor, his face being described as ‘sculptorly and massive’ to those which aligned Moore’s character with notions of Englishness. This paper argues that photographic representations of Moore and of his work provided a vivid form of portraiture, whilst at the same time highlighting interesting issues concerning the relationship between photography and sculpture. The latter is a new area of art historiography; the representation of sculpture through a two-dimensional medium is particularly problematic, allowing for a high degree of subjectivity on the part of the photographer. This often goes unrecognized by the viewer (and art historian) who regard such images as factual visual evidence.