Lot 2
  • 2

Henry Moore

400,000 - 600,000 USD
bidding is closed


  • Henry Moore
  • Three Seated Women
  • Signed Moore and dated 42 (lower right)
  • Pencil, wax crayon, charcoal, wash and pen and ink on paper
  • 17 1/2 by 21 3/4 in.
  • 44.6 by 55.2 cm


Curt Valentin, New York

Mr. & Mrs. Winthrop Murray Crane, Dalton, Massachusetts

Louisa Crane, New York (by descent from the above in 1972)

A gift from the above in 1992


Washington, D.C., Philips Memorial Gallery, Drawings and One Sculpture by Henry Moore, 1946, no. 24


Robert Melville, Henry Moore, Sculpture and Drawings 1921-1969, New York, 1970, no. 298, illustrated p. 300

Ann Garrould, ed., Henry Moore, Complete Drawings 1940-49, London, 2001, vol. 3, no. AG 42.193, illustrated p. 168

Catalogue Note

Three Seated Women exemplifies the highly important technical and stylistic developments Moore achieved in the 1940s. During the Second World War, Moore executed what are arguably his greatest and certainly his most publicly recognized achievements as a draughtsman: the Shelter and Coal-Mine drawings of 1940 and 1942 executed in the London Underground and the pits at Castleford in Yorkshire respectively. According to the catalogue raisonné for the artist’s drawings, Three Seated Women was originally conceived as a study for a stone sculpture, “In a note on the verso of an early photograph of this drawing Moore has written ‘drawing for group life size to be translated into stone.’ Although no sculpture exists, an upright version of three draped figures LH 268 was carved in 1947-48. Characteristic of Moore’s drawing are the feet placed firmly upon the ground, a pose he associated with the frescoes of Piero della Francesca in the church of San Francesco at Arezzo” (A. Garrould, Op. cit., p. 168). 

Three Seated Women is distinguished by its important early provenance. The first owner of the work was Curt Valentin, the German art dealer known for representing many of the most important modern artists including Alexander Calder, Marino Marini, Jacques Lipchitz and Henry Moore. As a German-Jewish art dealer, Valentin fled war-torn Germany and in 1937 emigrated to the United States where he opened a modern art gallery, Bucholz Gallery in New York City. The drawing was later purchased by Mr. & Mrs. Winthrop M. Crane. Winthrop Crane was a political figure and businessman who served as Governor of Massachusetts and later the United States Senate. Crane was also an adviser to Republican US presidents Theodore Roosevelt and William Howard Taft. Three Seated Women remained with descendants of Crane for several generations until it was donated to the Berkshire Museum in 1992.