“We live in a transitional age between one structure in society which is in dissolution and another economic order which has not yet taken shape”
Henry Moore, 1952
After World War II there was a sense that the end of hostilities would herald an exciting new era in which art would enjoy an enhanced social role. Already a celebrated war artist, Henry Moore understood the responsibility and importance of creating art for the people. In the immediate post-war years he adopted a classical style of modernism that made his work both relevant and comprehensible.
Moore’s reclining figures and family groups found a new prominence in contemporary art. Images of the mother and child and the traditional nuclear family represented security and community spirit. As towns and communities began to rebuild, art became both part of the healing process and a cause for celebration. By funding public commissions and new organisations such as the Arts Council, the government actively encouraged art as a tool to boost morale, educate and entertain. Moore’s sculptures became an important part of this re-birth of culture.