Sunday, August 21, 2011

More Moore.

I have lived in this area for most of my life but have never been to the Henry Moore foundation untill this year and as of yesterday I have been there twice this year. I went with Helen and Brian when they were over earlier in the year and as Trev and I were in the Stortford area for car reasons I suggested going again as Trev had never been. (In the unlikely event we go to the Yorkshire Sculpture park when we are meeting up with Sue in Yorks in October then I could do a post titled More Moore on a Moor! Actually we could go and see Othello first then we would have More Moore on a Moor after the Moor! (I must stop now))
It is a brilliant place. He moved out here during the war. Apparently he came to the village for a weekend and while he was here his studio was bombed so he decided to move here permanently. It gave him a lot of space and that is when he started working on his monumental sculptures of which there are a couple of dozen on display in the grounds.
As it happened the light shower forecast came down in stair rods for well over half an hour so Trev and I spent quite a long time in the converted out buildings chatting to the room attendants. In the maquette shed I asked about some old photos on display. Apparently they are on the land of a wealthy banker in Scotland. During the 50s he had been staying in the area and had been converting a house and wanted bronze taps for his bath. He had heard there was somebody in Perry Green who worked in bronze so knocked on the door. Moore welcomed him in and managed to sell 4 huge sculptures!
It does sound that Moore was a very canny business man. At sometime during the 60s he was paying a million pounds tax a year. It was then that he set up the Henry Moore foundation and he also bought the pub in the village. You have to love that. (Very nice lunch there too)
We went into another barn, which I somehow missed in my earlier visit, where they had a series of tapestries that Moore commisioned near the end of his life. They were created from Moores drawings and they are stunning. All hand woven. The room attendant was telling us about the process of weaving them and it is mind boggling. At the beginning they were actually weaving them from the wrong side so how they knew when to change colour just bamboozles me. She also showed us the wrong side of them where you could see all the ends of wool.

Anyway, I could go on. It is a fascinating and they do good tea and cake too. What more can you ask for?

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