Henry and Irina Moore
Shot in the year that he died, sculptor Moore is looking frail in an armchair at his home with his wife Irina behind him. The aging artist seems slumped in his chair and looks down at the photographer who must be positioned close to him. John Hedgecoe had been a friend of Moore’s since they met in 1956 and they were soon spending every weekend together and holidaying together each summer. Therefore, it is unsurprising that Hedgecoe was afforded this intimate access.
The walls behind Henry and Irina Moore are filled with paintings, and sculptural objects are placed on each surface. They had an expansive collection, which included objects that had been inspirational to Moore’s own practice. Moore positioned his favoured objects in the living room in which he greeted guests where this photograph may have been taken.
Moore raises his hands, so they appear in the picture frame, a feature important to both Moore and Hedgecoe. Moore’s hands were the focus in a series of photographs Hedgecoe took of Moore much earlier, in 1966 when he dynamically manipulated his hands, positioning them as a viewfinder [link to 50267], or reaching to the corner of the frame. In his book Portraits, Hedgecoe had captioned one of these images ‘The hands that created so many works of art’. 
In total, Hedgecoe took around 6,000 photographs of Moore.  In some of his photography manuals Hedgecoe used his images of the sculptor as an example of how to take a prolonged portrait of a single subject.  As Hedgecoe explained, with photography ‘you capture forever a frozen instant of time. But how much more meaningful those images can be is made plain when you see a progression of pictures of the same person taken over a long period of time.’ 
His photographs of Moore formed the basis of four books, which incorporated Hedgecoe’s photographs alongside Moore’s words. Although he produced around 30 photography manuals, these were Hedgecoe’s only books on a single subject.
Tania Moore, January 2021
 John Hedgecoe, Portraits (London: Collins & Brown, 2000), unpag.
 As estimated by Charlotte Bullions and Emily Unthank at the Henry Moore Foundation, 2020.
 John Hedgecoe, Photographing People (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1980), p.56.
John Hedgecoe and Henry Moore, Henry Spencer Moore (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, 1968)
John Hedgecoe and Henry Moore, Henry Moore: Energy in Space (Munich: Bruckmann, 1973)
John Hedgecoe and Henry Moore, Henry Moore: My Ideas, Inspiration and Life as an Artist (London: Ebury Press, 1986)
Tania Moore, ‘Portrait of a Friendship: John Hedgecoe’s Henry Moore’ in Henry Moore: Friendships and Legacies (Norwich: Sainsbury Centre, 2020)