- Henry Moore
- Rocking Chair No. 3
- Stamped Bronze and with the foundry mark Valsuani cire perdue
- Bronze, dark green patina
- Height: 12 1/2 in.
- 32 cm
Buchholz Gallery (Curt Valentin), New York
Acquired from the above in 1951
New York, Buchholz Gallery, Henry Moore, 1951, no. 31
Almelo, Kunstkring De Waag, Sculptuur uit verleden en heden in Nederlands particulier bezit, 1957, no. 132
Robert Melville, Henry Moore, Sculpture and Drawing 1921-1969, London, 1970, no. 400, illustrated
Alan Bowness ed., Henry Moore: Complete Sculpture, 1949-1954, vol. 2, London, 1986, no. 276, illustration of another cast pl. 16
Susan Compton, Henry Moore, New York, 1988, no. 110, illustration of another cast p. 89
Beginning in 1950, Henry Moore executed a series of sculptures of a mother seated in a rocking chair and lifting her child in the air. This work was inspired by the artist's own family life, and he regarded the sculpture not only as a work of art but also as a functioning object to amuse his four-year old daughter. "The rocking chair sculptures were done for my daughter Mary, as toys which actually rock," the artist wrote. "I discoved while doing them that the speed of the rocking depended on the curvature of the base and the diposition of the weights and balances of the sculpture, so each of them rocks at different speed" (Henry Moore and John Hedgecoe, Henry Moore, New York, 1968, p. 178).
Over the course of three years (1950-52), the sculptor created six versions of the rocking chair, the present work being the third of four versions completed in 1950. In some of the versions, the chair has a ladderback or a hollowback against which the mother sits. But in the present work, the mother's body and the structure of the chair are one and the same, demontrating Moore's ability to abstract the human form and anthropomorphize inanimate objects.