Sale: 550 / Evening Sale, June 07. 2024 in Munich Lot 34


Henry Moore
Family Group, 1944.
Bronze with brown patina
€ 300,000 - 400,000

$ 321,000 - 428,000

Family Group. 1944.
Bronze with brown patina.
From an edition of nine copies (plus one artist copy). 15.2 x 10.7 x 7.5 cm (5.9 x 4.2 x 2.9 in).
Cast by Art Bronze Foundry (Gaskin's), London, in 1956.

More works from the Dr. Maier-Mohr Collection are offered in our Contemporary Art Day Sale on Friday, June 7, 2024 and in our Modern Art Day Sale on Saturday, June 8, 2024 – see collection catalog "A Private Collection - Dr. Theo Maier-Mohr".

• Family is a key theme in the artist's oeuvre.
• The early "Family Group" series (1944-1949) is considered the first independent realization of this motif in bronze and was showcased in Moore's first solo exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art in New York in 1946.
• This "Family Group" is one of the first works in this important group and is therefore much sought-after.
• In its closed form and perfect harmony, it is one of the most compelling versions of the motif.
• Moore transfers the traditional family archetype into an intimate, multi-figure scene with a profoundly modern expressiveness.
• Two copies of this work are in the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, and the Dallas Museum of Art

Accompanied by a photo certificate signed and dated by the artist, Fischer Fine Art Ltd., London, from September 1976.

The work is documented at the Henry Moore Foundation, Hertfordshire, with the number LH 230.

PROVENANCE: Fischer Fine Art Ltd., London.
Dr. Theo Maier-Mohr Collection (acquired from the above in 1976).
Ever since family-owned.

EXHIBITION: Henry Moore, Tate Gallery, London, July 17 - September 22, 1968, cat. no. 62 (illu., different copy).
Mother and Child: the Art of Henry Henry Moore, Hofstra Museum, Hofstra University, H.empstead (New York), September 10 - November 21, 1987, The Baltimore Art Museum, Baltimore, February 16 - April 17, 1988 and others, p. 138, cat. no. 28 (illu. in b/w on p. 53, different copy).
Henry Moore. The Human Dimension; Benais Museum, Petrodvorets, June 17 - August 15, 1991, Pushkin Museum, Moscow, September 3 - October 9, 1991, p. 81, cat. no. 56 (illu., different copy).
Henry Moore. Sculpting the 20th Century, Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas, February 25 - May 27, 2001, Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, June 24 - September 16, 2001, National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C., October 21, 2001 - January 27, 2002, cat. no. 49 (illu., different copy).
Henry Moore. Natur und Figur, Museum Lothar Fischer, Neumarkt i. d. Opf., October 17, 2010 - January 9, 2011.

LITERATURE: Herbert Read, Henry Moore. Sculpture and Drawings, vol. 1, London 1949 (3rd edition), no. 70 h (terra-cotta, illu. in black and white).
David Sylvester (ed.), Henry Moore. Sculpture and Drawings, vol. 1 (1921-1948), London 1957 (4th edition), no. 230 (terra-cotta, illu. in black and white, p. 144).
David Sylvester (ed.), Henry Moore. Complete Sculpture, vol. 1 (1921-1948), London 1988 (5th edition), no. 230 (with illu. in terracotta).
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Lewis Lapham (ed.), Lapham's Quarterly, New York, winter 2012, vol. 5, first edition (illu. in color on the cover, different copy).

"I found inspiration for the Family Groups in sketching, perhaps because this theme touched me so deeply. It was shortly before our first daughter Mary was born."
Henry Moore, quoted from: Henry Moore, Maquetten, Munich 1978, p. 72.

Called up: June 7, 2024 - ca. 18.06 h +/- 20 min.

Preceding the "Family Groups": "Mother and Child" figures and "Shelter Drawings"
Family is a significant motif in the art of every culture, and it also occupies an eminent position in Henry Moore's oeuvre, for which the human figure was formative. As early as the 1920s, at the beginning of his artistic career, Moore addressed the theme in his mother-and-child figures and repeatedly revisited it in sculptures and graphic works up into the 1980s.
During World War II, Moore made drawings of people seeking shelter from air raids in the London subway, they are known as his "Shelter Drawings". In these works, Moore also depicts the intimacy of huddled family members, siblings sleeping side by side, and mothers holding their children tight.
After his studio got destroyed, Moore and his wife Irina (married 1929) moved to Perry Green in Hertfordshire in 1941, where he would live and work for the rest of his life (today the seat of the Henry Moore Foundation). In 1942, the artist received a commission for a mother and child figure for St. Matthews Church in Northampton, which he completed in 1944. A work in which Moore also took a modern, contemporary approach to the traditional, iconographic subject.

The idea behind the "Family Group"
The project was followed by another public sculpture: before the outbreak of the war, Moore had already received an offer from the German architect and Bauhaus founder Walter Gropius, who was living in England at the time, asking him to make a sculpture of the family theme for a school in Impington (near Cambridge). A project that Gropius and Maxwell Fry had planned in 1935/36. In search of a suitable composition, a sculptural solution that would put equal value on parents and children, Moore had already made several drawings. The building, which opened in 1939, was not only conceptualized as a mere school building but also included flexible spaces that could accommodate families. Initially, there was no funding for Moore's sculpture, however, Henry Morris, then Education Officer for the Cambridgeshire County Council, brought the sculpture back onto the agenda in 1944. With great artistic energy and creativity, Moore filled almost two complete sketchbooks with drawings and produced more than two dozen clay or terracotta models in which he grouped the figures in various postures, forms, and constellations. He then had ten of these different models cast in bronze, although the project could not be realized this second time around, either.
In its basic conception, the "Family Groups" comprise several figures, two adults and one or two children of different ages, forming a cohesive, stable unit. While some figures appear quite lively, others are much more static. This present "Family Group" (LH 230) can well be considered one of the most striking versions, as its closed form reveals a balanced composition. The broad shoulders and the strong parallel legs of the seated figures convey stability, while their physical contact and their joint gaze in the same direction testify to their strong bond.

Desire and fulfillment: the longing for harmony and stability

In the years of the war and its aftermath, many artists were far from depicting intimacy, tenderness, or even humanity in such a direct way. Yet especially in a time when many families were irretrievably torn apart, Moore succeeded in conveying a sense of hope and the desire for peace and stability with his unmistakable "Family Groups", a dream that seemed to be within reach at the time, yet still a long way off. Maybe Moore's appreciation of family values and his perception of family as a source of peace and harmony were shaped in his own childhood: "Perhaps the family groups reflect this outlook. [..] no doubt, my own childhood would have an influence. I was the seventh child of a family of eight, my childhood was very full and very happy." (Henry Moore in a letter to Evelyn S. Ringold, February 24, 1975, Henry Moore Foundation Archive)
With the end of the war, Henry Moore's personal and professional future also took a turn for the better. After several miscarriages, the birth of their daughter Mary in 1946 fulfilled their long-cherished wish to have children. In the same year, the Museum of Modern Art in New York presented a comprehensive solo exhibition, which was also shown at the San Francisco Museum of Art and the Chicago Art Institute the following year. In 1948, Henry Moore was featured in the British Pavilion at the 24th Biennale di Venezia and was awarded the International Prize for Sculpture. [CH]


Buyer's premium, taxation and resale right compensation for Henry Moore "Family Group"
This lot can be purchased subject to differential or regular taxation, artist‘s resale right compensation is due.

Differential taxation:
Hammer price up to 800,000 €: herefrom 32 % premium.
The share of the hammer price exceeding 800,000 € is subject to a premium of 27 % and is added to the premium of the share of the hammer price up to 800,000 €.
The share of the hammer price exceeding 4,000,000 € is subject to a premium of 22 % and is added to the premium of the share of the hammer price up to 4,000,000 €.
The buyer's premium contains VAT, however, it is not shown.

Regular taxation:
Hammer price up to 800,000 €: herefrom 27 % premium.
The share of the hammer price exceeding 800,000 € is subject to a premium of 21% and is added to the premium of the share of the hammer price up to 800,000 €.
The share of the hammer price exceeding 4,000,000 € is subject to a premium of 15% and is added to the premium of the share of the hammer price up to 4,000,000 €.
The statutory VAT of currently 19 % is levied to the sum of hammer price and premium. As an exception, the reduced VAT of 7 % is added for printed books.

We kindly ask you to notify us before invoicing if you wish to be subject to regular taxation.

Calculation of artist‘s resale right compensation:
For works by living artists, or by artists who died less than 70 years ago, a artist‘s resale right compensation is levied in accordance with Section 26 UrhG:
4 % of hammer price from 400.00 euros up to 50,000 euros,
another 3 % of the hammer price from 50,000.01 to 200,000 euros,
another 1 % for the part of the sales proceeds from 200,000.01 to 350,000 euros,
another 0.5 % for the part of the sale proceeds from 350,000.01 to 500,000 euros and
another 0.25 % of the hammer price over 500,000 euros.
The maximum total of the resale right fee is EUR 12,500.

The artist‘s resale right compensation is VAT-exempt.