Washington DC


Family Group 1946 (LH 265)


height 44.1cm

When Walter Gropius was working in England before the war he was asked by Henry Morris, Director of Education in Cambridgeshire to design a large school at Impington, near Cambridge. It was called a Village College and was meant... to put into practice lots of Henry Morris’s ideas on education. Such as, that the children’s parents should be catered for in the school... The school had a lecture theatre, a hall where they could have plays and films – even sleeping accommodation for parents if they were held up there in winter evenings, etc. Gropius asked me to do a piece of sculpture for the school. We talked about it and I suggested a family group would be the right subject. However, it never got further than that because there was no money. Henry Morris tried unsuccessfully to raise money by private subscription. Gropius left England for Harvard University. Later the war came and I heard no more about it until, about 1944, Henry Morris told me that he now thought he could get enough money together for the sculpture if I would still like to think of doing it. I said yes, because the idea right from the start had appealed to me and I began drawing in note book form of family groups. From these note book drawings I made a number of small maquettes, a dozen or more. Some of the maquettes were ideas for bronze, but most of them were for stone because for the Impington school I felt stone would be the suitable material.

Henry Moore in a letter to Dorothy Miller, 31 January 1951, quoted in Philip James, (ed.), Henry Moore on Sculpture, London 1966