Projects, events and news from the University of Cambridge Museums
Historic Trumpington Street in Cambridge, home to some of the University’s famous colleges and the Fitzwilliam, one of the world’s finest Museums, has been transformed by the arrival of a Henry Moore sculpture on long-term loan to the Fitzwilliam.
The enormous four piece bronze sculpture, Hill Arches (1973), arrived on the front lawn of the Fitzwilliam on 5 May 2016. It sits in contrast to the majestic neo-classical portico of the Founder’s building built between 1837-48 which is renowned for its resplendent white portland stone façade and columns which constitute part of the iconic Cambridge skyline.
The Museum’s grand galleries house an internationally significant collection of over half a million masterworks of art and artefacts from antiquities to the present day.
“2016 marks 200 years since the death of the Museum’s founder and 30 years since the death of Henry Moore, arguably the greatest British sculptor of the 20th century. We are therefore absolutely thrilled to have Moore’s majestic Hill Arches on loan for the next two years. This bronze colossus will enliven the front lawn, welcoming visitors into the Museum in this our bicentenary year. It will also complement our permanent collection of bronzes by Moore in the Twentieth Century Gallery, so please do come and enjoy!”
Dr. Victoria Avery, Keeper of Applied Arts, Fitzwilliam Museum
Henry Moore (1898 – 1986) is considered one of the world’s greatest sculptors of the modern era. He is best known for his sculptural work but he was also an exceptionally prolific and talented draughtsman.
Moore’s sculptures are on display throughout the world. Although Moore preferred to make sculptures of the human figure for architectural or natural settings, with Hill Arches Moore created a landscape in its own right – perhaps, as the title suggests, an echo of the rolling hills of his native Yorkshire.
With Hill Arches the tension between solid mass and open void is exactly balanced. As so often in Moore’s work the piece is open to many interpretations. There is a strong internal, external relationship in the sculpture, with the arching forms shielding an internal ball.
“I am delighted that a monumental sculpture by Henry Moore is returning to the gardens of the Fitzwilliam Museum, following the loan of Large Reclining Figure in 2005-7. Today’s arrival of Hill Arches marks the continuation of Moore’s and the Foundation’s longstanding association with the Fitzwilliam and Cambridge. Moore’s work is now visible in many important sites and collections across the city, and I hope the presence of this sculpture outside one of Cambridge’s most recognisable buildings will be enjoyed by residents and visitors alike.”
Sebastiano Barassi, Head of Collections and Exhibitions, Henry Moore Foundation
The loan from the Henry Moore Foundation enables the sculpture to be seen from a fresh perspective, in a historic urban setting, but also alongside the Museum’s permanent collection of Henry Moore bronze sculpture, drawings and prints in the Twentieth Century Gallery.
Dr Victoria Avery, Keeper of Applied Arts will give a free lunchtime talk at the Fitzwilliam Museum ‘Hill Arches and other works by Henry Moore’ on 1 June 2016 (1.15pm; Education Seminar Room).