Statement on Henry Moore’s Draped Seated Woman
05 November 2012
In a letter (dated 23 October 2012) Sharon Ament, Director of the Museum of London, wrote to Councillor Lutfur Rahman, Mayor of Tower Hamlets, suggesting the long-term loan of Henry Moore’s Draped Seated Woman to the Museum of London for public display either internally or externally.
The Museum of London supports many people’s concern about selling great works of art such as this sculpture and wishes to be considered as a permanent home for the piece.
We believe that displaying Draped Seated Woman at the Museum of London or Museum of London Docklands, where visitors can enjoy the artwork freely and easily, will bring great public good for Londoners and visitors to the capital. We maintain that not only would this decision be in the public interest, but it is also the most viable option for the sculpture.
The Museum of London and Museum of London Docklands are free museums, together welcoming over 600,000 visitors each year from London, the UK and abroad. Draped Seated Woman would fit perfectly well in our learning programme which includes relevant topics such as Second World War, war and art, and regeneration, as well as contributing significantly to wider discussions. Both Museum of London venues are secure, being permanently monitored by round-the-clock CCTV. If displayed outdoors dedicated surveillance for the sculpture could easily be added, importantly outdoor display spaces have no direct vehicular access. Our team of professional conservators would look after the preservation of this artwork to ensure its longevity and enjoyment by future generations.
Commenting on the campaign to halt the sale of the sculpture Sharon Ament, Director of the Museum of London, said:
“The Museum of London’s offer to put Draped Seated Woman on free, public display would enable everyone to enjoy and derive meaning from this significant artwork. As the leading museum for London we would help build an enduring cultural legacy for the affectionately named Old Flo. As Henry Moore’s daughter Mary said in her letter to the Observer, this art work was created with ‘the belief that everyone, whatever their background, should have access to works of art of the highest quality’. I firmly support this idea which echoes our purpose at the Museum of London to preserve the heritage of our capital city for everybody without prejudice.”
Adding his support, Sir Nicholas Serota, Director, Tate, said:
"I strongly support your suggestion that Henry Moore's Draped Seated Woman be placed at the Museum of London, Docklands at West India Quay where it could be seen by the people of East London and visitors, as intended by Henry Moore at the time of his gift. If the sculpture conservation team at Tate can assist in helping to supervise the move of the sculpture from Yorkshire and its installation we would be happy to do so, though I imagine that the Henry Moore Foundation would also wish to support your initiative."
For further information please contact the Museum of London Press Office on 020 7814 5502/5511 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Notes to Editors:
Museum of London
The Museum of London tells the story of the world’s greatest city and its people. It cares for more than two million objects in its collections and attracts over 400,000 visitors per year. It holds the largest archaeological archive in the world.
Museum of London Docklands
The Museum of London Docklands, in Tower Hamlets, displays the Port and River collection. From Roman settlement to the development of Canary Wharf, this 200 year old warehouse reveals the long history of the capital as a port through stories of trade, migration and commerce. The Museum of London and the Museum of London Docklands amalgamated on 1 April 2009 and are one legal entity.