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Henry Moore

Open Work Head No. 2

1898 – 1986

Open Work Head No. 2
47 x 28.6 x 28 cm
Presented by the Contemporary Art Society, 1952 © Reproduced by permission of The Henry Moore Foundation. Photography Norman Taylore


Moore investigated the relationship between the head and the helmet from the late 1930s through to 1975. These works relate to a number of Moore’s influences, including the metal helmet he would have worn as a soldier in the First World War, and the non-Western tribal masks he saw in the British Museum as a student at the Royal College of Art in the 1920s.

The series of ‘Open Work’ heads were begun in 1950, after Moore had spent time documenting miners during the Second World War, so they could also relate to miners’ helmets and modern industrialisation.