Work by Henry Moore arrives in Barnsley

He was the first British artist to become a global star in his lifetime. And now the iconic work of Henry Moore has arrived in Barnsley.

On until Saturday 3rd June, the Cooper Gallery will host Henry Moore: Threads of Influence, a touring exhibition from the Sainsbury Centre.

Family Group. 1945. Pencil, wax crayon, charcoal and watercolour wash on paper.
Sainsbury Centre © Henry Moore Foundation

The exhibition focuses on Moore’s long and productive career, from his early life drawings to his renowned sculptures and later prints. There will also be a range of related objects from the Cooper Gallery Collection, including two figurative drawings.

Henry Moore is one of the most important British artists of the 20th Century and Barnsley Museums is proud to be bringing works from an artist of this calibre to the town. The exhibition will illuminate Moore’s work in a new way, giving visitors an insight into his many influences that helped him develop his multi-faceted portfolio.

Moore has strong links to Yorkshire, having been born in Castleford in 1898. He knew he wanted to be a sculptor from a young age and studied at Leeds School of Art after the First World War.

He then trained at the Royal College of Art in London where he met his wife, Irina. She was one of his first muses and there will be two life drawings of Irina on display at Cooper Gallery. These early sketches show his commitment to studying the human form which laid the foundations of his monumental bronze sculptures.

By the 1930s, Moore was one of Europe’s leading avant-garde sculptors. The exhibition will include small-scale examples of his work which highlight how he was able to conceive his ideas before he had the means to achieve the vast three-dimensional works.

There will also be four of his Shelter Drawings from his time as an official war artist during the Second World War. Moore studied people sheltering in the London Underground during the Blitz and these pieces were shown at the National Gallery during the war.

The exhibition also explores other artists who influenced Moore’s work over the years such as Henri Gaudier-Brzeska and Jacob Epstein.

Barnsley is the final stop on the tour, with the exhibition having already been to Tunbridge Wells, Ayr, and Derby.

For more about the exhibition, visit