Lecture | War, Peace, and Moore’s “Atom Piece”


Seventy-five years ago, the first self-sustaining nuclear chain reaction took place on the campus of the University of Chicago. Fifty years ago, a bronze by Henry Moore was erected to mark the site, a work known by its owners as Nuclear Energy. The artist himself called it Atom Piece, suggesting an alternative reading of the atom’s unleashed force. Both interpretations are still visible today, present in the sculpture, the process by which it was made, and the explosive tensions it seems to keep in balance.

Anne Wagner (Class of 1936 Professor Emerita, University of California, Berkeley) delivers this lecture, which is supported by the Rhoda Pritzker Fund for Lectures on Modern British Art.

Yale Center for British Art
Lecture Hall
1080 Chapel Street
New Haven, CT 06510

Image credit: Henry Moore, Atom Piece (Working Model for Nuclear Energy), 1964–65, bronze, Didrichsen Art Museum, Helsinki: acquired 1967, © The Henry Moore Foundation

Wednesday, October 10, 2018