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MOORE AT HATFIELDarts can be both shown and performed.Plans include the display of some ofHatfield's many treasures including 16th-and 17th-century silver, textiles, ceramics,and artefacts dating from the days of theBritish Empire.One of the house's most famoustreasures is its first-edition copy of theKing James Bible, which also celebratesits 400th anniversary this year. HatfieldHouse was one of 27 recipients of theoriginal print run (others included theKing, the Prince of Wales, and membersof the King's Privy Council). The onlyknown surviving copy remains inpossession of the Cecil family and will beon public display at a special anniversaryexhibition held this year at the house. Of course the staging of the HenryMoore exhibition at Hatfield has particularresonance in light of the house'sproximity to Perry Green, home of theHenry Moore Foundation and the placewhere the sculpture lived and worked forover 40 years. From this spring, visitorsto Hertfordshire can spend a morningperusing sketches and maquettes ofsome of the sculptor's best known worksat the Perry Green studios, then head toHatfield House to survey the finishedproducts in all their iconic splendour.Picking up from where last year's TateBritain exhibition left off, Moore at Hatfieldfeatures 15 works from the Henry MooreFoundation's own collection, focusing onworks created specifically to be sited inthe landscape."Sculpture is an art of the open air,"said Moore. "I would rather have a pieceof my sculpture put in a landscape,almost any landscape, than in or on themost beautiful building in the world." Two years in the planning, the teamfrom Hatfield House and the HenryMoore Foundation have plotted theexhibition down to the finest detail. Takingplace between April and September, theexhibition spans three seasons. This,explains the exhibition's Assistant Curator,Suzanne Eustace, meant liaising with the gardeners to check how differentspaces will look at different times of theyear - what shrubs, flowers and treeswould be in bloom "to ensure sculpturesare visible and are not 'fighting' withanything else going on in the garden'snatural environment".Hatfield House's long history ofaristocratic owners and visitors (it wasspecifically built for entertaining royalty) isneatly reflected in one of the exhibition'skey pieces, King and Queen. These regalfigures, with their stares fixed in the samedirection, are almost life-size, creating acertain intimacy between them and theviewer. As with many of Moore's works,there is no hint of movement, but ratherof permanence and rooted significance intheir positions.Two of Moore's enduring themes -mother and child, and the recliningfigure -are well represented among theworks on display. Of these, one of themost eye-catching is Large RecliningFigure. Situated with the Old Palace, thechildhood home of Queen Elizabeth I, asits backdrop, the work is the only one inthe exhibition fashioned not of bronze,but of startling white fibreglass - thesmooth, bone-like quality of the materialserving to emphasise the severity of thefigure's pointed limbs. A bronze version ofthis work can be found at Perry Green,where its imposing silhouette is frameddramatically against the sky.Another work, Mother and Child, iscast from a section of Family Group. Inthe original the parents and child areentwined, the father resting his right handon the mother's shoulder. Curiously, whenhe later cast the mother and childseparately, Moore left the father's handresting on the mother's shoulder. As withmany of Moore's Family Groupworks,the connection between mother and childis touchingly evident. With her armscradling and supporting her child, themother's gaze is soft and nurturing.Elsewhere, Reclining Mother and Childcombines the two themes in anamalgamation of the abstract and thefigurative. While the baby has a shell-likequality, and is not recognisably human,the mother is represented through sharpmusculature and pointed breasts. TheFar left:LargeTotem Headcaused a stir in GermanyLeft:Mother and Childdisplaying adeep connectionAbove:The regalKing and Queenisone of themost pivotalsculptures withinthe exhibition46NADFAS REVIEW / SPRING 2011www.nadfas.org.uk

NADFAS REVIEW/ SPRING 2011 47