Interactive Tour of Perry Green

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Henry Moore, Large Totem Head

Large Totem Head 1973 (LH 577) in the snow at Perry Green

1968
LH 577
bronze edition of 8 + 1
cast: Hermann Noack, Berlin
height 244cm

This a prime example of Moore's belief that in order to maintain interest, a sculpture should have a sense of mystery, so that it cannot be read too quickly. Upon completion, a cast of this work was given by a German department store chain to the city of Nuremberg, where it was controversially received due to its sexual suggestiveness. But Moore refused to listen to psychoanalytic interpretations of his work. Reading a book on his work by a Jungian psychologist, Moore stopped after the first chapter because 'it explained too much about what my motives were and what things were about ... If I was psychoanalysed I might stop being a sculptor'. In the maquette for this work made in 1963, the same form lies on its side and has the title Head: Boat Form. Moore felt that when enlarged and standing vertically, the sculpture evoked a huge impassive face with eyes.