[MOORE, Henry]; READ, Herbert. Henry Moore: Sculptor. An Appreciation by Herbert Read. With thirty-six plates. London: Lund Humphries/ A. Zwemmer, 1934.

FIRST EDITION, SIGNED BY THE ARTIST: ‘Henry Moore/ Dec. 1942’. 4to, pp. [16] including b/w frontis of Moore with Mother and Child, 1932 green Hornton stone + 6 plates reproducing drawings 1928-1932 and 30 showing carved sculptures 1924-1933. Original boards. Bump to heel of spine, band of archival paper to length of spine. Else, clean and bright. In very good original illustrated dust jacket – spine creased, lower panel lightly shelf soiled, small closed-tear to front panel, wear to edges and extremities, chips to spine ends, plus small pieces of archival paper.
Not only does this Lund Humphries-designed publication mark Herbert Read’s first extended essay (at ten pages) on the sculptor, but, importantly, it is the first monograph on Moore and provided ‘the fundamental ingredients of the Moore ‘legend,’ a parry by Read which would secure once and for all Moore’s unrivalled leadership of British Modernism (Friedman, 1993 p.107-8). Indeed, the influential art and literary critic, poet and anarchist ended his essay by asserting that: ‘There has been no compromise in the life of Henry Moore, and now, in the fulness of his powers, he offers us the perfected product of his genius ([p.16]). Itself adapted from his 1931 The Listener review of Moore’s Leicester Galleries exhibition, Read’s ‘Appreciation’ offers a fuller analytical assessment that he would subsequently revise and build on ten years later in a survey of Moore’s work, and which was then reprinted in Read’s The Philosophy of Modern Art (1954) (see Davis, 1992; Cranfield, 2015). This is a key early work on Moore by his most important critic. A very good copy of the striking first modernist monograph on Moore signed by the artist.

[ref: 1076 ] £250