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Looking back on the life of sculptor Henry Moore with his daughter Mary

Henry Moore working in his maquette studio in 1968
Henry Moore working in his maquette studio in 1968 Credit: The Henry Moore Foundation Archive

‘Sculptors make the best fathers,” says Mary Moore, “because they combine being incredibly practical with emotional depth – otherwise they wouldn’t be artists.”

We are sitting in Hoglands, a 17th-century farmhouse in the hamlet of Perry Green, Hertfordshire, where Mary’s father, the British sculptor Henry, lived for almost 50 years with his Russian wife, Irina. They moved there in 1940, after their home in Hampstead was damaged during the Blitz. Mary, their only child, was born six years later.

Today, Hoglands, where Mary grew up surrounded by pets including a rabbit, guinea pigs and a dog, is owned by the Henry Moore Foundation – which, this year, is celebrating its 40th anniversary. Full of wonderful artworks by the likes of Courbet, Renoir and Vuillard, on long-term loan to the Foundation from Mary and her three children, its interior preserves the appearance of the house while her parents...

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