Working Model for Sheep Piece

Working Model for Sheep Piece, 1971
Henry Moore (1898–1986)

Henry Moore is best known for his abstracted representations of reclining figures and mother-and-child forms. These figures are often composed of two separate sections and contain pierced and hollowed regions.

Moore was an English Surrealist sculptor. Born in Castleford, West Yorkshire, he studied at the Leeds School of Art and the Royal College of Art in London. Moore turned to sheep as a subject after he started to sketch them grazing outside his studio in Hertfordshire. The convex and concave shapes could depict two sheep playing or a mother sheep nursing its baby, while the waving curves could reference the hills in Moore’s childhood home. By examining the sculpture closely, the viewer can appreciate the artist’s technique. Moore carved directly into the material, leaving tool marks on the surface of the piece, offering reference to the relationship between human manipulation and organic materials.

Henry Moore (1898–1986)
Working Model for Sheep Piece, 1971
Gift of the Collection of Leonard and Sophie Davis




Emma Acker, Assistant Curator of American Art, provide her perspective on Henry Moore’s Working Model for Sheep Piece.