Text for Elephant Skull Album (first section) – prototype Animals in the Zoo portfolio
In 1983 Henry Moore published Animals in the Zoo, a portfolio of ten etchings and an additional two in the deluxe edition. The portfolio in the Sainsbury Centre Collection is a prototype. The twelve etchings were sent to Baron Zuckerman OM, along with the text for Moore’s Elephant Skull album (1970), probably so Zuckerman could write his introduction for the Animals in the Zoo portfolio.
In his introduction, Zuckerman wrote, ‘The animals which he has depicted are his own, seized with infinite sensitivity by his eye, in the same way that he had already seized what appears in that remarkable portfolio of etchings of the elephant skull, a vision that had never been given to any anatomist’. Moore had created his Elephant Skull album based on a skull given to him by Juliette Huxley, wife of the biologist Sir Julian Huxley after he had admired it in their garden. The text was written by Henry J Seldis and interspersed with Moore’s etchings of details of the skull, looking like craggy rocks. Seldis writes that the portfolio offers ‘a better understanding of this great artist’.
The lifelong friendship of Solly Zuckerman and Moore began when they met in the late 1920s in the Gardens of the Zoological Society of London, where Zuckerman was Resident Anatomist. Zuckerman later became Chief Scientific Advisor to the Ministry of Defence in 1960–5 and then Chief Scientific Advisor to the British government until 1969. He was involved in the founding of the University of East Anglia and became Professor at Large in 1969. His close relationship to the University meant that he gave his archive, along with this portfolio.
Tania Moore, September 2020
David Mitchinson, Henry Moore: Prints and Portfolios (Geneva: Patrick Cramer, 2010), pp.322-29.
Tania Moore, Henry Moore: Friendships and Legacies (Norwich: Sainsbury Centre, 2020)
Given to Lord Zuckerman by Henry Moore in 1982.
Bequeathed to the Sainsbury Centre in 1993, with his archive to the University of East Anglia Archives.
Not on display
Title/Description: Text for Elephant Skull Album (first section) – prototype Animals in the Zoo portfolio
Artist/Maker: Henry Moore
Born: 1981 - 1982
Object Type: Graphics portfolio
Measurements: (Solander box: 67 x 51.7 x 4.4)
Accession Number: 41375M
Historic Period: 20th century
Production Place: Britain, England, Europe
Copyright: © Reproduced by permission of the Henry Moore Foundation
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Table in a Room
Unframed: (h. 475 x w. 310 x d. 1 mm) Framed: (h. 660 x w. 480 x d. 20 mm)