Bill Brandt | Henry Moore
“The camera,” said Orson Welles, “is much more than a recording apparatus, it is a medium via which messages reach us from another world.” It was the camera, and the political and cultural circumstances of picture-making during the Second World War, that first brought Bill Brandt (1904–1983) and Henry Moore (1898–1986) together. During the Blitz, these two artists produced images for the British government of civilians sheltering in the London Underground. Widely disseminated through news media and exhibitions, their haunting depictions of this human crisis became defining images of the war.
The exhibition begins with these early works and traces the artists’ intersecting paths and creative exchange across the postwar years. For both artists, Britain’s landscape and its majestic megaliths such as Stonehenge and Avebury demonstrated the arresting power of sculptural forms. At a time of national recovery, Brandt and Moore looked to forms in nature as a means of expressing subjective experience and evoking the human body. Reworking these motifs across different media, the two artists explored the ability of images to reflect different social, political, and artistic contexts.
Drawings, photographs, and sculptures are shown alongside experimental photo collages, unprinted negatives, rare color transparencies, and the popular magazines that published the artists’ work. Viewed together, these diverse creative materials demonstrate the interdisciplinary nature of art making in the twentieth century.
The exhibition is accompanied by a fully illustrated book edited by Martina Droth, Deputy Director and Chief Curator at the Yale Center for British Art, and Paul Messier, the Pritzker Director of the Lens Media Lab at the Yale Institute for the Preservation of Cultural Heritage. Learn more here.
Opening Conversation | Sculpture, Photography, and the Printed Page
Wednesday, November 16, 2022, 4 pm
Martina Droth, Deputy Director and Chief Curator, Yale Center for British Art, and Paul Messier, Pritzker Director of the Lens Media Lab at the Yale Institute for the Preservation of Cultural Heritage
Art in Context | Sculpture and Photography: A New Look at Bill Brandt and Henry Moore
Tuesday, November 29, 2022, 12:30 pm
Martina Droth, Deputy Director and Chief Curator, Yale Center for British Art
Art in Context | The World of the Blitz: Brandt, Moore, Lilliput
Tuesday, December 13, 2022, 12:30 pm
Katie Trumpener, Emily Sanford Professor of Comparative Literature and Professor of English, Yale University
at home: Artists in Conversation | Michael Kenna and Kunié Sugiura on Bill Brandt
Friday, January 13, 2023, 12 pm
A conversation with photographer Michael Kenna and artist Kunié Sugiura. Moderated by Martina Droth, Deputy Director and Chief Curator, Yale Center for British Art; Yasufumi Nakamori, Senior Curator, International Art (Photography), Tate Britain; and Carol Jacobi, Curator of British Art, Tate Britain.
Art in Context | Bill Brandt’s Expressive Dimensions
Tuesday, January 24, 2023, 12:30 pm
Paul Messier, Pritzker Director of the Lens Media Lab at the Yale Institute for the Preservation of Cultural Heritage
Art in Context | Getting Back the Body: Henry Moore's Photo Collages
Tuesday, February 14, 2023, 12:30 pm
Joanna Fiduccia, Assistant Professor of the History of Art, Yale University
Saturdays and Sundays at 1 pm
Join our museum docents for a tour of the exhibition.
Bill Brandt | Henry Moore was curated by Martina Droth, Deputy Director and Chief Curator at the Yale Center for British Art, and organized in partnership with The Hepworth Wakefield, UK. It was on view at The Hepworth Wakefield February 6 to November 1, 2020, and at the Sainsbury Centre, University of East Anglia, May 18 to August 22, 2021. The exhibition and its accompanying publication were generously supported by David Dechman and Michel Mercure, Laura and James Duncan (Yale BA 1975), the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and the John Pritzker Family Fund.
Bill Brandt, Henry Moore (detail), 1948, gelatin silver print, Hyman Collection, London, © Bill Brandt/Bill Brandt Archive Ltd.
Bill Brandt | Henry Moore
Edited by Martina Droth and Paul Messier