Between Beauty and Power: Henry Moore’s Draped seated woman as an emblem of the National Gallery of Victoria’s modernity, 1959–68


On 3 June 1960 the National Gallery of Victoria’s deputy director, Gordon Thomson, announced to the public the Felton Bequests’ Committee recent acquisition of Henry Moore’s Draped seated woman (fig. 1). His press release stressed the acquisition’s signal importance for the Gallery, noting, ‘The arrival of this work in Melbourne is an historic event of great importance. It is the first large-scale work to be imported for almost thirty years, and is unquestionably the finest piece of sculpture in this country’. To explain the artist’s intentions in making the piece, Thomson quoted Moore’s own comments of some twenty years earlier:

Beauty in the later Greek or Renaissance sense, is not the aim of my sculpture. Between beauty of expression and power of expression there is a difference of function. The first aims at pleasing the senses, the second has a spiritual vitality, which is for me more moving, and goes deeper than the senses.

Finally, he underscored the purchase’s future significance for the proposed National Art Gallery and Cultural Centre development then underway for St Kilda Road, commenting that ‘This great bronze is a recent and noble example of Moore’s art, and the prospect of seeing it installed eventually where its dignity will contribute to the ensemble of the new building … is an exciting one’.1 G. Thomson, ‘National Gallery of Victoria: Schedule of Works recently acquired under the terms of the Felton Bequest, to be presented formally by Mr. A. R. L. Wiltshire (Chairman of Directors of the Trustees, Executors and Agency Company Limited) on Friday, 3 June 1960 at 5.15 pm and accepted by Dr. Leonard Cox (Chairman of the National Gallery Trustees)’, The Shaw Research Library, National Gallery of Victoria, NGV Felton Correspondence. Moore’s comments were quoted from H. Read (ed.), Unit One: The Modern Movement in English Architecture, Painting and Sculpture, London, Toronto, Melbourne & Sydney, 1934, pp. 29–30; republished in A. Wilkinson (ed.), Henry Moore: Writings and Conversations, London, 2002, pp. 191–3.

The hyperbole so often accompanying press releases was for once not so wide of the mark. Although the Felton Bequest had been drawn on for decades to acquire scores of old master paintings, prints, drawings and decorative-art works, as is well known, the committee had been rather less assiduous when it came to the task of building up the Gallery’s holdings of recently produced international art. Sporadic purchases during the 1930s to 1950s of paintings by Glyn Philpot, Balthus, Francis Bacon, Bernard Buffet and others represented a decidedly secondary emphasis of the Felton’s expenditures and this imbalance was made even more evident in the field of contemporary international sculpture. As Thomson himself noted in the press release quoted above, the last high-profile international sculpture purchase had been the 1937 acquisition of Charles Sargeant Jagger’s figures of The driver and Wipers. But these had, in any event, represented more patriotic than artistic choices since they were replicas of work in the Royal Artillery Memorial on Hyde Park Corner (1921–25) that had been shipped back to Melbourne for a combined total of £3000.2 See J. Poynter, Mr Felton’s Bequests, Melbourne, 2003, p. 422. One needed to look further still to find other comparable acquisitions — most particularly Boehm’s Saint George secured from the 1888 Centennial International Exhibition for £1000 and Frémiet’s Joan of Arc commissioned for the forecourt of the NGV for £1800 by Bernard Hall as part of the Felton Bequest’s initial acquisitions way back in 1905.3 See J. Anderson with P. Paffen, ‘The sculptor writes: Rodin in correspondence with Melbourne’, Rodin: Sculptures and Drawings (exh. cat.), National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, 2001, pp. 131–5; T. Gott, ‘Stowed away: Emmanuel Frémiet’s Gorilla carrying off a woman’, Art Bulletin of Victoria, no. 45, 2005, pp. 7–17.

The Draped seated woman had been acquired directly from the sculptor for £6000 (A£7500). This made it three times the annual allocation at that stage reserved under the terms of the Felton Bequest for all the combined acquisitions in contemporary art to be approved in any one year.4 See Poynter, 2003, p. 514. It was also exceptional in that it had been recommended for purchase not by the Felton’s London adviser, as was customary, but had been forwarded as a request to the Felton Committee by the NGV Trustees themselves, as proposed by one of their members, William Ritchie, and seconded with a supporting letter of recommendation by the director, Eric Westbrook.5 The sequence of meetings leading to the acquisition is as follows: NGV Trustees meeting, 4 August 1959, item 21: the Trustees authorise William Ritchie to contact Moore in relation to a purchase and to propose that the Felton Bequests’ Committee ‘consider purchase of an important piece at some time in the near future’; NGV Trustees meeting, 1 September 1959, item 15, trustees agree to recommend to the Felton Bequests’ Committee the purchase of Draped seated woman for £6000; 4 September 1959, Eric Westbrook forwards letter recommending the purchase to the secretary of the Felton Bequests’ Committee; Felton Bequests’ Committee meeting, 28 November 1959, item 4A, agreed to the purchase of Draped seated woman for the price stated; 30 November 1959, secretary of Felton Bequests’ Committee informs Eric Westbrook of their decision to purchase Draped seated woman. Clearly it was an exceptional acquisition in every respect that represented an extraordinarily forthright — one might even say audacious — statement of a new commitment on the part of the NGV to international contemporary art and as such signalled an important shift in the institution’s sense of itself and its collection policies.

These new aspirations grew, in turn, out of a wider climate of change and renewal that had been gathering pace within the NGV for the previous three years. William Ritchie, a businessman and collector of Australian art based in Ballarat, had been appointed as an NGV trustee as recently as 1957. His appointment had formed part of a more general reorganisation of the membership of the Board of Trustees and Felton Bequests’ Committee that had followed the death in November 1955 of the long-standing Felton Bequests’ Committee member and later chairman, Sir Russell Grimwade, together with the retirement of the former director, Daryl Lindsay, at the end of 1955, and inauguration of the new director, Eric Westbrook, in January 1956.6 See L. B. Cox, The National Gallery of Victoria 1861–1968: A Search for a Collection, Melbourne, 1970, chap. 25, ‘New Director: New Trustees’, pp. 262–72; Poynter, 2003, pp. 503–6. In his 1970 history of the NGV, Leonard Cox stressed the degree to which Lindsay’s artistic reference points ‘lay deeply with the past’. The younger Eric Westbrook, by contrast, was more engaged with ‘the explosive and exciting aspects of the contemporary scene’.7 Cox, 1970, p. 262. Westbrook’s previous background in England and Europe had also encouraged the development of a keen interest in Moore’s work. He had been on close terms with Moore during an earlier tenure as director of the Wakefield Art Gallery, where he had curated the first British retrospective of Moore’s work in 1949, and shortly thereafter as chief exhibition officer of the British Council, where he had helped to tour and promote the first European Moore retrospective that had travelled extensively from Brussels to Athens during 1949–51.8 See Henry Moore: Sculpture and Drawings 1923 to 1948 (exh. cat.), City Art Gallery, Wakefield; City Art Gallery, Manchester, 1949; Exposition Henry Moore: Sculptures, Dessins, Palais des Beaux-Arts, Brussels, Musée Nationale d’Art Moderne, Paris; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam (here and subsequent venues titled Henry Moore); Kunsthalle, Hamburg; Städtische Kunstammlungen, Düsseldorf; Kunsthalle, Berne; Zappeion Gallery, Athens, 1949–51. Further information on Eric Westbrook’s career and associations with Moore and other artists will be forthcoming in a PhD dissertation currently underway at the University of Melbourne by Emily Gray.

The strongly Anglophile leanings of the relatively close-knit membership of the NGV and its governing committees and advisers also helped to prepare the ground for this proposal. Although he played no major role in the matter, the Gallery’s Felton London Adviser, John L. McDonnell, certainly knew Moore’s work well. McDonnell had recommended the acquisition for the NGV of two much smaller (and at £300 and £262 apiece also much cheaper) works by Moore a decade earlier.9 These are Moore’s Half figure, 1933, Felton Bequest 1948 (683-D4) and Family group, 1947, Felton Bequest, 1948 (703-D4). These acquisitions had coincided with an exhibition of Moore’s work that had been organised by the British Council to take in Sydney and the other Australian capital cities during 1947–48 (and that had further distinguished itself as being only the second retrospective of Moore’s work to be mounted internationally).10 For Joseph Burke and Henry Moore, see S. Palmer Bull, Intersecting Cultures: European Influences in the Fine Arts: Melbourne 1940–1960, PhD dissertation, University of Melbourne, 2004, pp. 204–5; J. Anderson, ‘Interrogating Joe Burke and his legacy’, Melbourne Art Journal, no. 8, 2005, pp. 99–100, which transcribes letters by Joseph Burke to Kenneth Clark that mention the 1947–48 exhibition of Moore’s work. The individual chosen to open the Melbourne installation of this exhibition also had good cause to champion Moore’s work. Joseph Burke — Herald Chair of Fine Arts at the University of Melbourne since 1946 — took credit for making the suggestion to the British Home Ministry during the Second World War to appoint Moore as an official war artist and to visit the London air-raid shelters in order to produce the soon to become famous drawings of civilians resting during the Blitz.11 See Anderson, 2005, pp. 92–3. Burke became a Felton Bequest member in 1956 so he too would have played a role in supporting Ritchie’s and Westbrook’s proposal. In addition, the 1947–48 touring exhibition of Moore’s work also contained a number of pieces from the collection of Sir Kenneth Clark. As one of England’s most pre-eminent arbiters of taste, Clark was also himself a short-lived but influential London adviser to the Felton Bequest (1945–47). He was also a long-time friend and supporter of Burke and a number of the other members of the NGV and its associated circles. In Melbourne, as elsewhere, Moore represented an artist who was both cutting edge and yet at the same time extremely well connected among the determinedly Anglophile cultural establishment of the day. If any artist was to break through the relative conservatism of the NGV and the Felton Bequests’ Committee in the arena of high-profile contemporary art acquisitions, then he was the perfect candidate for the task.

William Ritchie had previously been a member of the Ballarat Fine Art Gallery Association12 Who’s Who in Australia, 1960, p. 678. and had made his first contact with Moore a year prior to assuming membership of the NGV Trustees. An unpublished letter in the Henry Moore Foundation Archives at Perry Green (Moore’s country property) confirms that he and his wife had visited Henry Moore at his studio in Much Hadham, Hertfordshire, as early as 1956.13 The Henry Moore Foundation, Perry Green, Much Hadham, Hertfordshire, letter from William Ritchie to Henry Moore, 23 September 1972. Here it seems likely that Ritchie would have raised the idea of acquiring Moore’s work, presumably also following an introduction provided by Westbrook, but that he subsequently had to wait several years until the consolidation of his position within the NGV Trustees allowed him to capitalise on this initial contact. On 24 March 1959 Ritchie wrote to Moore inquiring whether he might have any major sculptures available for purchase. Although Ritchie’s letter is lost, Moore’s response, dated 28 May 1959, is preserved in the Public Record Office Victoria.14 Letter from Henry Moore to William Ritchie, 28 May 1959, Public Record Office Victoria (PROV) 804/0004/33. In it, he offers for Ritchie’s consideration a selection of four large bronze sculptures: the Draped seated woman of 1957–58; a more abstract, nude female figure entitled Woman from the same period; and two slightly earlier and also abstract totemic pole sculptures, the Glenkiln Cross and Upright motive, no. 8, both 1955–56.15 D. Sylvester & A. Browness (eds), Henry Moore: Sculpture and Drawings, 6 vols, London, 1957–88, vol. 3, nos 428, 439, 377 & 388.

It is surely significant for Ritchie’s and Westbrook’s thinking that all of these works had been conceived by Moore as monumental public, outdoor pieces. The Glenkiln Cross and Upright motive, no. 8 derived from an aborted commission to execute a courtyard sculpture for the Olivetti office in Milan (it had been abandoned by Moore when he found that the site was to be cluttered by parked cars). Of the various casts made, one had been installed for a private collector on a rugged hillside setting on a Scottish farm. Photographs of Moore’s work in this dramatic locale had done much to publicise the notion of his sculpture as being most appropriately seen out of doors.16 For discussion, see The Moore Collection in the Art Gallery of Ontario (exh. cat.), ed. A. Wilkinson, Art Gallery of Ontario, 1979, cats 104–12, pp. 135–43; R. Berthoud, The Life of Henry Moore, London and Boston, 1987, p. 258. Another series of both the Glenkiln Cross and Upright motive had also been ordered for an equally imposing outdoor setting at the Kröller-Müller Museum, Otterlo.17 For an in situ illustration see Wilkinson, 2002, p. 285. Both the Draped seated woman and Woman similarly grew out of the relatively arduous design process involved in what was at that stage the largest and highest profile public commission of Moore’s career: the five-meter-long reclining marble female figure for the Paris Headquarters of UNESCO (1956–58).18 Sylvester & Browness, p. 416; Wilkinson, 1979, pp. 149–51; Berthoud, 1987, pp. 262–8. A further key reference point for the NGV’s Draped seated woman in particular was another earlier commission for a monumental bronze draped reclining figure that had been ordered for the garden terrace of the London office of the Time-Life Corporation (1952–53).19 ibid., p. 336; ibid., 1979, cats 88 & 90, pp. 120–1; 122–5; ibid., 1987, pp. 241–2.

Besides its scale and advanced modernity, what clearly attracted the Draped seated woman to Westbrook, Ritchie and the others subsequently involved in its purchase, was its eminent suitability for a prominent outdoor setting in the new building then just in its initial stages of planning. Moore’s sculpture had long been identified with this progressive sculptural ideal. For years critics had noted the degree to which sympathetic outdoor installations of Moore’s work were able to bring out a richer awareness of their sculptural qualities while also exhibiting a much more dynamic integration with their surrounds than could be achieved in a traditional gallery space (fig. 2). Indeed, this feature would be further reinforced in the case of the Draped seated woman for many years to come since the NGV reproduced in its early publications not an illustration of the work in the NGV itself, but rather Moore’s initial photograph sent to Ritchie in 1959 of another cast of the piece placed in the open fields at Perry Green (fig. 3). Moore’s outdoor sculptures had attracted particular acclaim since at least the time of the first open-air exhibitions held at Battersea Park, London, in 1948 and 1950. The following year Moore’s similarly externally sited Reclining figure had also proved one of the major talking points of the landmark Festival of Britain exhibition.20 For the open-air installation and public commissioning of Moore’s work, see R. Cork, ‘An art of the open air: Moore’s major public sculpture’, in Henry Moore (exh. cat.), Royal Academy of Arts, London, 1988, pp. 14–26; H. F. Senie, ‘Implicit intimacy: The persistent appeal of Henry Moore’s public art’ in Henry Moore: Sculpting the 20th Century (exh. cat.), ed. D. Kosinski, Dallas Museum of Art,; Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco; National Gallery of Art, Washington, 2001–02, pp. 276–85; P. Curtis & F. Russell, ‘Henry Moore and the post-war British landscape: Monuments ancient and modern’, in Henry Moore: Critical Essays, J. Beckett & F. Russell (eds), London, 2003, pp. 125–41; and M. Garlake, ‘Moore’s eclecticism: difference, aesthetic identity and community in the architectural commissions, 1938–58’, in Beckett & Russell, pp. 173–94. Added to this were Moore’s own periodic statements to the effect that ‘There is no background better than the sky, because you are contrasting solid form with its opposite — space. The sculpture then has no competition, no distraction from other solid objects’.21 Henry Moore, quoted in Tate Gallery Catalogue, 1951; in Berthoud, 1987, p. 228; see further the artist’s statements gathered together in Wilkinson (ed.), 2002, pp. 242–9. Adding to the appeal of these installations were the powerful humanist resonances evoked in the mind of the viewer by the presentation of Moore’s huge archetypal figures — often female and maternal — in unencumbered landscape settings. Part of the great success enjoyed by Moore during the latter 1940s and 1950s was the ability of his work to speak to a deep-seated postwar need for an epic, modern, civic art that might help to rebuild a shattered Europe through the reinforcement of universal humanist values that reconnected the individual to the landscape, both urban and natural.

All of this fed into the reception of the Draped seated woman so that its relationship to the new building immediately came to be highlighted as one of its key features. It appears already in Westbrook’s initial letter back to Ritchie conferring with him about the proposed purchase in June 1959, some five months prior to the Felton Committee’s decision to approve the purchase. Here Westbrook noted that the Draped seated woman ‘would be most suitable for our purpose. It looks the most impressive and beautiful work, and would be a magnificent addition to the new building’.22 Letter from Eric Westbrook to William Ritchie, 10 June 1959, PROV 804/0004/33. Three months later its relationship to the new building was made yet more explicit in Westbrook’s official letter to the Felton Committee recommending the purchase:

The trustees, supported by the professional staff, believe that this figure is one of the most important of Mr. Moore’s work and this would not only be of great interest to the public in relation to the present building but would certainly be found a place of prominence in relation to the architecture of the building on the St. Kilda Road. Being bronze it could equally well be shown in the open air.23 Letter from Eric Westbrook the secretary, Felton Bequests’ Committee, 4 September 1959, PROV 804/0004/33.

In December, with the Felton decision now formalised, Westbrook wrote enthusiastically to Henry Moore informing him of the news. Everything was coming together simultaneously since Roy Grounds was only given the commission to undertake the new building that very month.24 P. Goad, ‘An oriental palazzo: Roy Grounds and the National Gallery of Victoria’, Backlogue, no. 3, 1993, p. 74. Here again the theme of the eventual installation of the work in an outdoor setting in the new building came to the forefront of Westbrook’s thinking:

I find it difficult to tell you how delighted I am by this as in my various directorships I have always hoped that I will be able to acquire one of your major pieces. Apart from this, the purchase marks a very important change in the policy of both the Felton Bequest and my own Trustees and we hope that it will lead to the building of a very fine collection of recent sculpture. Everything in Australia points to it being a country where sculpture should be presented, not only from the character of the people, but also from our superb light which is as close to that of Greece that I have yet found. We naturally would like to have the work as soon as it is ready, for not only the staff of the Gallery but the artists and public will be anxious to see it as soon as the announcement is made: But its importance will, I think, only be fully realised when it is incorporated into our new Gallery Building which will be commenced within the next two years.25 Letter from Eric Westbrook to Henry Moore, 10 December 1959, PROV 804/0004/33.

Westbrook’s letter to Moore introduces another key motivation underlying the acquisition that would soon prove more troublesome for the NGV to realise. Besides acting as a ‘destination artwork’ denoting the new NGV’s sophistication and international modernity, Westbrook and his colleagues evidently also wanted Moore’s Draped seated woman to form the centrepiece of a new collections policy aimed at building up a prominent collection of contemporary Australian and international sculpture. This need for the Draped seated woman to be related to a wider projected installation of work soon led to Grounds’s and Westbrook’s decision not to place it in the forecourt of the new building, as one might have otherwise expected. This was confirmed by the time of Grounds’s first presentation designs for the new building produced in late 1960 (fig. 4). These had been drawn up following the semi-legendary overseas trip in mid 1960 undertaken by Grounds and Westbrook to inspect international contemporary museum trends, a trip which had begun, ironically enough, just two days prior to the arrival in Melbourne of the Draped seated woman (the reason, incidentally, why Westbrook played no role in the early public announcements).26 Goad, 1993, p. 76. In his first presentation drawing of the entrance to the new building, Grounds somewhat incongruously attempted to accommodate Frémiet’s Joan of Arc by placing it at the forecourt as if ‘exiting from a castle’ as a recent commentator has put it.27 ibid., p. 79. This idea was evidently soon dropped, however, so that Joan of Arc never did leave her commanding position on Swanston Street. But this then created a vacuum for the installation of an appropriately modern counterpart to Frémiet and Boehm outside the new NGV that would take many years to be satisfactorily realised and to which Westbrook himself would also turn, unsuccessfully as it would transpire, within the space of a few short years.

Having dispensed with the possibility of situating the Draped seated woman externally, there was really only one alternative left to Grounds and Westbrook. Although not widespread in newly designed art museums by that date, the concept of a central sculpture gallery or open-air sculpture courtyard had, nonetheless, centuries of museological tradition to support it. A sculpture courtyard had formed the centrepiece to one of the world’s first museums, the Vatican Belvedere created by Pope Julius II in the early sixteenth century, and many major galleries still also retained centrally situated, dedicated sculpture galleries at the heart of their visitor circulation routes. Both the Tate Gallery in London, for example, and the National Gallery in Washington, followed these lines. The option of creating a central sculpture gallery — left open to the sky to preserve the outdoors setting required of the Draped seated woman — must have seemed to offer the best of both worlds in that it allowed Moore’s work to be viewed in an outdoor setting while at the same time providing obvious security advantages and allowing Moore’s work to be compared with other similar sculptures displayed alongside.

So it was that all subsequent references stressed the Draped seated woman’s relationship to its open-air courtyard setting, thus making the sculpture an effective promotional tool not just for the NGV’s modernity, but also for its new building. The Age in a front-page story announcing the Melbourne arrival of the Draped seated woman, already relayed the Gallery’s intention that ‘it will be displayed in an open court at the proposed cultural centre in St Kilda Road’, and reiterated the point with a quote from Joseph Burke:

I think it is an ideal acquisition for the cultural centre, because we should be able to display it in the open. It is one of Moore’s most important works. Mr Roy Grounds, the centre’s architect, has a particular admiration for Moore’s work.28 Age, 4 June 1960, p. 1.

The Herald muddled the story somewhat when it noted ‘Eventually it may be displayed in an open court outside the cultural centre in St Kilda Road’,29 Herald, 4 June 1960 (story omitted from final edition). A copy of the earlier edition’s story on the Draped seated woman is retained at State Library of Victoria, Australian Manuscripts Collection, PA 96/83, Range 42, Records of the Felton Bequests, box 2, Press Cuttings. but the Sydney Morning Herald refocused the account by recording:

The Statue, Draped seated woman is on view now at the gallery, but it is so big that a true appreciation will not be possible until it is placed in its rightful setting in the open. This will be possible when Melbourne’s £3 million cultural centre is built on St. Kilda Road.’30 SMH, 14 June 1960, p. 13.

It was left to the Bulletin to expand on the theme most fully:

At the moment the Draped Seated Figure is on view at the Gallery in a setting which does it little justice. What it needs — and this is apparently what it will have at its future home in the courtyard of the proposed cultural centre in St Kilda Road — is space to ‘breathe’ in, sunlight to add lustre to its surface textures, natural shadows to bring out the beauty of its contours, the angular planes of a modern building to lend a sense of proportion. It cannot exist in isolation, connected to a mere pedestal.31 ‘Artbursts: Melbourne’s Henry Moore’, Bulletin, 15 June 1960, p. 26.

Even gallery directors, however, are not immune from the risk of finding their carefully orchestrated public messages about their artworks slip beyond their control, and this is just what transpired with the initial public reception of the Draped seated woman. In a sense, Gordon Thomson invited the subsequent controversy when he quoted Moore’s ideas concerning the artist’s desire to convey a sense of ‘power of expression’ rather than a mere skin-deep ‘beauty’. Either way, the issue of the aesthetic beauty — or otherwise — of the Draped seated woman soon came to dominate as, by the Monday morning following its public unveiling on the Saturday, the tone of the reportage had altered irrevocably from respectful admiration to full-blown controversy. For the next two weeks the letter pages of the Age were filled with mostly negative invectives bewailing the prospect of ‘this atrocious travesty of the human form sprawling about in front of some public building’.32 Letters to the Editor, Age, 7 June 1960, p. 2. Other critics picked up on the proposed external location, suggesting that the piece would be more appropriately relocated ‘on top of the Grampians [which] would be an ideal site, if only to puzzle future generations, who would conclude that it was an ancient idol of some cult of Melburnian voodoo, early atomic era’.33 ibid., 8 June 1960, p. 2. More than anything else, though, the debate’s predetermining frame of reference was that of gender. Repeatedly, commentators connected what might constitute artistic beauty in a contemporary idiom with that of the female beauty, or otherwise, of the figure itself. One writer epitomised the prevailing tone when he asked what might one of Moore’s supporters think, ‘if he awoke one morning to see his wife sitting up in bed like “the greatest piece of sculpture in Australia”. Somehow I feel he would emit a low moan, stagger to the telephone, ring his doctor, and swear off drink for ever’.34 ibid., 14 June 1960, p. 2.

For all its sexist trivialisation, there is a sense in which this level of commentary was actually beneficial in that it helped to spare the NGV from the more seriously negative attacks that abstract and semi-abstract sculpture often attracted during this period (and that would ultimately come to a head in Melbourne in the 1980–81 debate over Ron Robertson-Swann’s Vault in the City Square).35 For the debate over Vault, see G. Wallis, Peril in the Square: The Sculpture That Challenged a City, Melbourne, 2004 The fact that the Draped seated woman was the most conventionally figurative of the four works offered to the NGV seems likely to have played at least some part in Ritchie’s and Westbrook’s decision to select that piece over the others. And this was just as well in one respect since Moore’s work had always been liable to attacks along these lines. As early as 1947, Daryl Lindsay had voiced his approval of the NGV’s previously mentioned purchase of Henry Moore’s smaller female Half figure on the largely negative grounds that it represented ‘a good example of his less extreme work’.36 La Trobe Library, State Library of Victoria, ‘Catalogue of works purchased and declined 1947–62’, commentary ascribed to Daryl Lindsay and transcribed in the entry for Moore’s Half figure, 1933. There were, indeed, many instances in Moore’s career of hostile responses to his more abstracted, ‘extreme’ pieces. The 1951 installation of the Reclining figure at the Festival of Britain, for example, had become a cause célèbre when it was attacked by numerous critics on the grounds that it ostensibly resembled nothing so much as ‘a human form in an advanced state of decomposition which has been disemboweled, partially decapitated and had both feet severed. It is sadly reminiscent of the pitiful remains found after the Hiroshima bomb explosion and among the dreadful discoveries at Belsen’.37 Quoted in Senie, ‘Implicit intimacy’, pp. 278–9. As late as 1965, moreover, Moore almost had his most important American commission to that date — the Reclining figure at the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts in New York — rejected at the last minute on the basis of its supposedly contentious abstraction. The same controversy also almost overturned the installation of his Three way piece – no. 2 archer commissioned for Nathan Phillips Square in Toronto in 1964.

The Draped seated woman, by contrast, was spared the full brunt of this kind of attack by virtue of its ability to accommodate itself in the public eye as being not just another ‘hideous’ piece of modern abstract sculpture but as rather constituting a huge distorted female representing ‘7,500 pounds of controversy’, as one reporter expressed it. Such characterisations lent themselves particularly well to the humanising — and humoristic — touches of the caricaturist and semi-burlesque treatments by the tabloid press. In this context, the Melbourne Truth branded the work ‘Heavy Hanna’ and recounted the opinion of its ‘sculpture critic’ that the work

reminded him of an old aunt of his who spent 40 years cutting railway sleepers and carrying out of the bush on her back, two at a time. Of the two, he thought Heavy Hanna the more intelligent. She was more expressive than his old aunt. She has as much expression as is possible in a face shaped like a do-it-yourself battle axe with half-inch holes for eyes, whereas his old aunt’s face had no expression at all.38 ‘Meet Hanna the Heavy… She’s 64-84-108’, Truth, 25 June 1960, p. 2.

This ‘critic’ also recounted the work’s ‘vital statistics’ of ‘Height 11 foot 6 inches, weight 160 stone, and 64-84-108’, a running joke that was also picked up on by the cartoonist WEG for a cartoon accompanying a further humorous piece on the ‘Extra OS lady’ published in the Herald on the same day (fig. 5).39 A. Phillips, ‘Come to the Side Show and See the Extra OS Lady’, Herald, 25 June 1960, p. 23. Perhaps the most elaborate treatment of this kind, though, was an extended piece on the controversy run by the Australasian Post on 28 July. Its angle was to send its own ‘critic’ to reflect on the work in the company of a photo opportunity to be provided by the ‘shapely model Trixie Shilte’ (fig. 6). Shilte, the piece noted ‘gazed thoughtfully at the figure and summed it up quickly. “If only the head was larger, it would look more human”, she said. “It’s not my idea of the figure of a woman … No, I don’t like it” ’. As a counterpoint to Moore’s supposed ideal of female beauty, the Post then had Shilte pose beside Daphne Mayo’s Olympian: ‘ “Here’s what I like”, smiles Trixie and poses prettily beside a bronze of a strapping young woman, done in the classic manner’. Intrinsically sexist as the piece undoubtedly was, the Australasian Post’s story also cleverly and even somewhat subtlely defused the potential hostility of its readers towards this new form of modern art via a humorous and even self-mocking approach which emphasised its own lack of understanding concerning the protocols and connoisseurial skills needed for appreciating ‘difficult’ contemporary art.

The moment of controversy passed and the Draped seated woman soon came to be reclaimed for the purposes of more ‘serious’ critical commentary. Alan McCulloch reasserted the appropriate tone when he reminded readers of the Herald that ‘There is a whole rich history of art in the figure if we take the trouble to look at it’. To prove the point, he then proceeded to relate the piece to everything from the Etruscans to the Egyptians to Rodin and Brancusi, as well as to the

story of Britain’s ‘sea culture’, of ‘found objects’ such as water-worn stones and fossils of Stonehenge, and it can tell the story of the blanket shrouded figures in the underground shelters of World War II.40 A. McCulloch, ‘World of art’, Herald, 22 June 1960, p. 22.

Subsequent official NGV publications by Ursula Hoff and Margaret Plant likewise dutifully joined the dots by tracing an established art historical lineage for the work stretching all the way from the prehistoric statuettes of the goddess Venus to Egyptian and then to Classical art and onwards to Moore’s contemporary preoccupation with the archetypal female form.41 See U. Hoff & M. Plant, Masterpieces of the National Gallery of Victoria, 1968, p. 160; Hoff, The National Gallery of Victoria, London and Melbourne, 1973, p. 71. When the Draped seated woman did eventually find its way in 1968 to its new home in Roy Grounds’s National Gallery it accordingly stood not so much as a contentious piece of contemporary art but rather as a link in the great causal chain of the history of European sculpture. In this sense it was situated in the new Lindsay Court alongside Rodin’s Balzac, commissioned in 1963 from the Musée Rodin for £18,000, and Philip King’s Span, purchased from the British Pavilion of the Venice Biennale only months prior to the opening of the new Gallery. Although this last piece constituted a more contemporary and entirely abstract work, it was evidently spared the controversy of the Draped seated woman as a result of its significantly lower price and by virtue of the fact that its initial reception was overshadowed to a far greater degree by the opening of the new building. Together the three pieces effectively conveyed the NGV’s aspirations for their new sculpture collection — both modern and traditional works were to be viewed in relation to each other in an equally dynamic contemporary, open-air setting (fig. 7).

As these last two purchases further underscore, both the prestigious price-tag and advanced modernity of the Draped seated woman were not to last for long. While praising the sculpture itself, the 1960 notice in the Bulletin had felt itself unable to support the ‘ludicrous’ price attached to the work since it represented ‘the sort of money that could have brought something like seven average-priced cars, 20-odd washing machines, or even a fairly decent racehorse’.42 Bulletin, 15 June 1960, p. 26. It soon became evident, however, as the international market for contemporary art sky-rocketed during the 1960s and 1970s, that the notion of buying any major contemporary artwork — let alone a monumental sculpture — for the equivalent of ‘20-odd washing machines’ was itself a ludicrous expectation. Gaston Lachaise’s Torso, for example, cost the Gallery US$25,000 in 1967 while Arnaldo Pomodoro’s Column of the traveller (at one stage positioned in the NGV’s moat) was purchased for US$30,000 in 1969 — this only three years after the piece’s completion.43 See NGV curatorial files, acquisition recommendation report of G. Thomson & C. Elwyn Dennis, September 1969. Other acquisition prices quoted above are similarly taken from the curatorial files of the NGV. The extent of inflation that occurred over this relatively short time is further illustrated by the example of Jean Ipoustéguy’s Death of the father of 1967–68. This cost the Gallery a massive A$60,000 just three years later in 1972.44 See T. Gott et al., 20th Century Painting and Sculpture in the International Collections of the National Gallery of Victoria, 2003, p. 104. Yet all of these prices were eclipsed by the purchase of Willem de Kooning’s Standing figure of 1969 for US$375,000 (A$590,000) in 1987.45 ibid., p. 122. The Felton Bequest was quite simply unable to accommodate such price rises (which is why the last two purchases were funded from other sources — admission funds in the case of the Ipoustéguy and The Art Foundation of Victoria for the De Kooning). This was particularly so when acquisition proposals of this kind were weighed against all the other competing media, schools and periods of art that the Felton Bequest was expected to cover in any one year. In 1959 the Felton’s annual allocation for international contemporary art had been set at £2000 and the incremental raising of this sum to £5000 in 1962 did very little to resolve this basic issue of the insufficiency of these amounts to cover the regular outlay of very high prices that would have been necessary to build up a representative collection of international contemporary sculpture.46 For attempts to raise the annual allocation for contemporary art, see Poynter, 2003, p. 514, PROV 805/P0004/33, Inward Registered Correspondence. As a result, Westbrook’s idea of a prominent Lindsay Court sculpture collection remained a chimera during his tenure as director, save for the Moore, Rodin and one or two token examples of large-scale, open-air sculptures that were placed there from time to time.

So too, in terms of contemporary art trends, the Draped seated woman also soon found itself no longer in the vanguard. This became increasingly evident as the trend towards abstract art and less traditionally modelled or sculpted work gained further ascendancy as the sixties progressed. This created the ironic situation that, while the figurative emphasis of the Draped seated woman may have been beneficial to its initial public reception in 1960, it soon had the opposite effect when it came to its longer-term critical reception. By 1982, for example, it was possible for Graeme Sturgeon to more or less dismiss the work in passing, in the NGV’s own handbook to its modern sculpture collection no less, on the grounds that:

Viewed more than twenty years after its creation Moore’s Seated Figure looks to be less than entirely successful. The huge, superbly modelled body is ill at ease with the lifeless bulk of the legs and the tiny, self-consciously hieratic head. Moore’s efforts to suggest parallels between his work and the classic sculpture of 5th century Greece, coupled with his modish and quasi-realistic treatment of the arms and legs, have led him away from his real area of strength, the massing of abstract forms, into a somewhat overblown rhetoric.47 G. Sturgeon, Sculpture: 19th and 20th Century Australian, European and American Sculpture, NGV, Melbourne, 1982, unpaginated.

Moore’s supposed relationship to the great canon of European sculpture, viewed so positively in the earlier comments of McCulloch, Hoff and Plant, was now seen from precisely the opposite vantage point: as a temporary distraction that had led the artist astray from his true area of strength and historical significance in the field of abstract sculpture. While it is difficult to encounter anything quite as extreme before this date, it is possible, however, to trace a comparable lack of engagement with the more ‘traditionally’ figurative dimensions of Moore’s art to many years earlier. In 1968 Macmillan released Eric Westbrook’s Birth of a Gallery, a lavish commemorative volume timed to coincide with the opening of the new Gallery. Because the building was still under construction while the book was being prepared, the publishers took the relatively unusual decision to commission elaborate illustrations of the gallery interiors, rather than photos, to accompany the text. The book accordingly includes a full-page illustration of the sculpture courtyard (fig. 8), which is described as having the advantage of enabling visitors to ‘enjoy fine sculpture as it is best seen under the changing conditions of the sky, rather than the static conditions of the indoor world.’48 E. Westbrook, Birth of a Gallery, Melbourne, 1968, p. 35. Yet the Draped seated woman — or any other figurative sculpture, for that matter — is curiously absent from this drawing. Instead, the illustrator has chosen to fill the courtyard with a generic approximation of the then more modishly current abstracted forms of Clement Meadmore, Clifford Last, Norma Redpath, Barbara Hepworth and the like. Broader changes in patterns of taste were also beginning to impact on the NGV’s acquisitions. The lingering Anglophile orientation of the NGV’s purchases was challenged by the increasingly evident dominance of America and other areas of contemporary art practice. In this respect, the 1974 purchase of Donald Judd’s Untitled for US$10,000 represents a comparable landmark moment in the shifting of priorities underpinning the NGV’s contemporary international sculpture collection during the period.49 Felton Bequest 1974 (EA6-1974), see Gott, 2003, p. 105.

Before that point had been reached, however, Henry Moore’s image as a benchmark reference for any contemporary art gallery with truly international aspirations would once more lodge itself in the consciousness of the NGV. Between December 1964 and May 1965, Eric Westbrook engaged in an intense lobbying campaign to acquire another major piece by Henry Moore for the forecourt of the new building. This time the object of his interest was a large abstract piece entitled Large torso (Arch), versions of which were subsequently enlarged further and cast for another outdoor commission by I. M. Pei, as well as in the grounds of the Henry Moore Foundation itself (fig. 2).50 Sylvester & Browness, vol. 4, no. 503a/b; for discussion, see Wilkinson, 1979, cat. 160, p. 179. The slightly smaller version of the work viewed by Westbrook had been included in a trade fair held at Sydney at the end of 1964. Westbrook was so impressed with it that he had arranged for it to be brought down to Melbourne and installed (at considerable cost and with a fair degree of difficulty, since it needed to be hoisted into the gallery), alongside the Draped seated woman in the MacArthur Gallery at the soon to be vacated Swanston Street building. Westbrook’s initial letters to Moore express a certain confidence in the project’s likelihood of success. In early December he informed Moore that, ‘I have now discussed the matter further with Roy Grounds and he is most anxious that we should acquire the piece for our new building. He assures me that he can get the cost underwritten by anonymous donors here by Monday the 14 December, when he would be in a position to send you an authoritative letter stating that the work could be bought at the price of £8000 sterling, which you generously offered it to us at’.51 Letter from Eric Westbrook to Henry Moore, 4 December 1964, PROV 12731/P0002/5 (which is the archival source also for all letters and documents related to this matter cited in the main text). This was not to be, however, and cracks in the plan soon began to appear. Just before Christmas the CEO of the National Art Gallery and Cultural Centre Building Committee (another NGV committee of governance of which Westbrook was, crucially in this instance, not a member) felt compelled to send Westbrook and Grounds a confidential memorandum informing them that ‘I thought I had better make it quite clear that neither the Building Committee nor myself as their agent, is responsible in any way for the transfer of the Henry Moore sculpture from Sydney to Melbourne; nor are we responsible for the purchase of this sculpture’.52 Memorandum from J. D. Rogers, CEO, the National Art Gallery and Cultural Centre Building Committee (NAGCCBC) to Roy Grounds and Eric Westbrook, 22 December 1964, PROV 12731/P0002/5.

Westbrook’s plan was evidently perceived as being problematic on at least three counts. First, of course, was the issue of cost. Even given the artist’s generously lowered price in this instance, the sum of £8000 for yet another piece by Moore would have been considered out of the question as far as the Felton Committee was concerned, and Roy Grounds was also, as it transpired, unable to find donors to contribute to the work. Second was the issue of the sculpture’s level of abstraction. The characteristically brief minutes of the National Art Gallery and Cultural Centre Building meeting only refer to the desire to avoid a ‘controversial discussion on a piece of sculpture’.53 NAGCCBC, minutes of Building Committee meeting, 13 April 1965, item 11 (a copy kept at PROV 12730/P0001/52, folder no. 22/5). It seems likely, though, that the abstractness of the piece was at least part of what they were referring to — particularly given the sculpture’s proposed location outside the secure inner sanctum of Lindsay Court. Finally, there was the issue of just who had the power to authorise the acquisition, if not the Felton Committee. The trustees evidently did not have the financial resources to proceed, unless a donor could be found — and Grounds had already drawn a blank on that score; and the National Art Gallery and Cultural Centre Building had been entrusted with the task of advising on the building works — not with purchasing art. In the end, the issue proved too intractable and the motion was defeated. It was left to Westbrook to organise the piece’s return to England and to write a somewhat crestfallen letter informing Moore of the reversal of his plans: ‘I am very sorry indeed about this for both our sakes as I believe that the piece would have looked magnificent in the place I had visualized for it.’54 Letter, Westbrook to Moore, 24 May 1965, PROV 12731/P0002/5.

At the end of the decade, then, the NGV had gained a major work by Moore as the centrepiece to its new building, and had lost another. Yet such outcomes were perhaps inevitable given the extent to which this period constituted one of the most intense and momentous decades of all of the Gallery’s 145-year history. Much had been attempted, after all, and not everything could be achieved over the course of such frenetic activity spread across so many fronts. In the final comment, both the highs of the 1959 Draped seated woman acquisition as well as the lows of the continued frustrations of the NGV’s attempts to find an appropriate signature piece for the forecourt of the Gallery need to be viewed together in terms of their ability to underscore both the high stakes involved for all those engaged in the redevelopment during this period, as well as of the continued significance of Moore as a focal point for the modernising agenda sought by Eric Westbrook and his supporters during the critical years immediately prior to the opening of the new NGV in August 1968.

Christopher Marshall, Senior Lecturer, School of Art History, Cinema, Classical Studies and Archaeology, University of Melbourne (in 2006).

Notes

Acknowledgements

Research for this article was funded, in part, by a Henry Moore Foundation Fellowship undertaken at the Henry Moore Institute in Leeds. From the Henry Moore Institute, I would particularly like to thank Penelope Curtis, Jon Wood and Ellen Tait for their assistance in facilitating my research at the Henry Moore Foundation at Perry Green in December 2005. During my time there I was also greatly assisted by the guidance and encouragement of the foundation’s archivist and librarian, Michael Phipps. I would also like to thank Laurie Benson and Michael Watson for their help with my research at the National Gallery of Victoria.

All prices are quoted in pounds sterling unless otherwise indicated.

1     G. Thomson, ‘National Gallery of Victoria: Schedule of Works recently acquired under the terms of the Felton Bequest, to be presented formally by Mr. A. R. L. Wiltshire (Chairman of Directors of the Trustees, Executors and Agency Company Limited) on Friday, 3 June 1960 at 5.15 pm and accepted by Dr. Leonard Cox (Chairman of the National Gallery Trustees)’, The Shaw Research Library, National Gallery of Victoria, NGV Felton Correspondence. Moore’s comments were quoted from H. Read (ed.), Unit One: The Modern Movement in English Architecture, Painting and Sculpture, London, Toronto, Melbourne & Sydney, 1934, pp. 29–30; republished in A. Wilkinson (ed.), Henry Moore: Writings and Conversations, London, 2002, pp. 191–3.

2     See J. Poynter, Mr Felton’s Bequests, Melbourne, 2003, p. 422.

3     See J. Anderson with P. Paffen, ‘The sculptor writes: Rodin in correspondence with Melbourne’, Rodin: Sculptures and Drawings (exh. cat.), National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, 2001, pp. 131–5; T. Gott, ‘Stowed away: Emmanuel Frémiet’s Gorilla carrying off a woman’, Art Bulletin of Victoria, no. 45, 2005, pp. 7–17.

4     See Poynter, 2003, p. 514.

5     The sequence of meetings leading to the acquisition is as follows: NGV Trustees meeting, 4 August 1959, item 21: the Trustees authorise William Ritchie to contact Moore in relation to a purchase and to propose that the Felton Bequests’ Committee ‘consider purchase of an important piece at some time in the near future’; NGV Trustees meeting, 1 September 1959, item 15, trustees agree to recommend to the Felton Bequests’ Committee the purchase of Draped seated woman for £6000; 4 September 1959, Eric Westbrook forwards letter recommending the purchase to the secretary of the Felton Bequests’ Committee; Felton Bequests’ Committee meeting, 28 November 1959, item 4A, agreed to the purchase of Draped seated woman for the price stated; 30 November 1959, secretary of Felton Bequests’ Committee informs Eric Westbrook of their decision to purchase Draped seated woman.

6     See L. B. Cox, The National Gallery of Victoria 1861–1968: A Search for a Collection, Melbourne, 1970, chap. 25, ‘New Director: New Trustees’, pp. 262–72; Poynter, 2003, pp. 503–6.

7     Cox, 1970, p. 262.

8     See Henry Moore: Sculpture and Drawings 1923 to 1948 (exh. cat.), City Art Gallery, Wakefield; City Art Gallery, Manchester, 1949; Exposition Henry Moore: Sculptures, Dessins, Palais des Beaux-Arts, Brussels, Musée Nationale d’Art Moderne, Paris; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam (here and subsequent venues titled Henry Moore); Kunsthalle, Hamburg; Städtische Kunstammlungen, Düsseldorf; Kunsthalle, Berne; Zappeion Gallery, Athens, 1949–51. Further information on Eric Westbrook’s career and associations with Moore and other artists will be forthcoming in a PhD dissertation currently underway at the University of Melbourne by Emily Gray.

9     These are Moore’s Half figure, 1933, Felton Bequest 1948 (683-D4) and Family group, 1947, Felton Bequest, 1948 (703-D4).

10     For Joseph Burke and Henry Moore, see S. Palmer Bull, Intersecting Cultures: European Influences in the Fine Arts: Melbourne 1940–1960, PhD dissertation, University of Melbourne, 2004, pp. 204–5; J. Anderson, ‘Interrogating Joe Burke and his legacy’, Melbourne Art Journal, no. 8, 2005, pp. 99–100, which transcribes letters by Joseph Burke to Kenneth Clark that mention the 1947–48 exhibition of Moore’s work.

11     See Anderson, 2005, pp. 92–3.

12     Who’s Who in Australia, 1960, p. 678.

13     The Henry Moore Foundation, Perry Green, Much Hadham, Hertfordshire, letter from William Ritchie to Henry Moore, 23 September 1972.

14     Letter from Henry Moore to William Ritchie, 28 May 1959, Public Record Office Victoria (PROV) 804/0004/33,

15     D. Sylvester & A. Browness (eds), Henry Moore: Sculpture and Drawings, 6 vols, London, 1957–88, vol. 3, nos 428, 439, 377 & 388.

16     For discussion, see The Moore Collection in the Art Gallery of Ontario (exh. cat.),
ed. A. Wilkinson, Art Gallery of Ontario, 1979, cats 104–12, pp. 135–43; R. Berthoud,
The Life of Henry Moore, London and Boston, 1987, p. 258.

17     For an in situ illustration see Wilkinson, 2002, p. 285.

18     Sylvester & Browness, p. 416; Wilkinson, 1979, pp. 149–51; Berthoud, 1987, pp. 262–8.

19     ibid., p. 336; ibid., 1979, cats 88 & 90, pp. 120–1; 122–5; ibid., 1987, pp. 241–2.

20     For the open-air installation and public commissioning of Moore’s work, see R. Cork, ‘An art of the open air: Moore’s major public sculpture’, in Henry Moore (exh. cat.), Royal Academy of Arts, London, 1988, pp. 14–26; H. F. Senie, ‘Implicit intimacy: The persistent appeal of Henry Moore’s public art’ in Henry Moore: Sculpting the 20th Century (exh. cat.), ed. D. Kosinski, Dallas Museum of Art,; Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco; National Gallery of Art, Washington, 2001–02, pp. 276–85; P. Curtis & F. Russell, ‘Henry Moore and the post-war British landscape: Monuments ancient and modern’, in Henry Moore: Critical Essays, J. Beckett & F. Russell (eds), London, 2003, pp. 125–41; and M. Garlake, ‘Moore’s eclecticism: difference, aesthetic identity and community in the architectural commissions, 1938–58’, in Beckett & Russell, pp. 173–94.

21     Henry Moore, quoted in Tate Gallery Catalogue, 1951; in Berthoud, 1987, p. 228; see further the artist’s statements gathered together in Wilkinson (ed.), 2002, pp. 242–9.

22     Letter from Eric Westbrook to William Ritchie, 10 June 1959, PROV 804/0004/33.

23     Letter from Eric Westbrook the secretary, Felton Bequests’ Committee, 4 September 1959, PROV 804/0004/33.

24     P. Goad, ‘An oriental palazzo: Roy Grounds and the National Gallery of Victoria’, Backlogue, no. 3, 1993, p. 74.

25     Letter from Eric Westbrook to Henry Moore, 10 December 1959, PROV 804/0004/33.

26     Goad, 1993, p. 76.

27     ibid., p. 79.

28     Age, 4 June 1960, p. 1.

29     Herald, 4 June 1960 (story omitted from final edition). A copy of the earlier edition’s story on the Draped seated woman is retained at State Library of Victoria, Australian Manuscripts Collection, PA 96/83, Range 42, Records of the Felton Bequests, box 2, Press Cuttings.

30     SMH, 14 June 1960, p. 13.

31     ‘Artbursts: Melbourne’s Henry Moore’, Bulletin, 15 June 1960, p. 26.

32     Letters to the Editor, Age, 7 June 1960, p. 2.

33     ibid., 8 June 1960, p. 2.

34     ibid., 14 June 1960, p. 2.

35     For the debate over Vault, see G. Wallis, Peril in the Square: The Sculpture That Challenged a City, Melbourne, 2004.

36     La Trobe Library, State Library of Victoria, ‘Catalogue of works purchased and declined 1947–62’, commentary ascribed to Daryl Lindsay and transcribed in the entry for Moore’s Half figure, 1933.

37     Quoted in Senie, ‘Implicit intimacy’, pp. 278–9.

38     ‘Meet Hanna the Heavy… She’s 64-84-108’, Truth, 25 June 1960, p. 2.

39     A. Phillips, ‘Come to the Side Show and See the Extra OS Lady’, Herald, 25 June 1960, p. 23.

40     A. McCulloch, ‘World of art’, Herald, 22 June 1960, p. 22.

41     See U. Hoff & M. Plant, Masterpieces of the National Gallery of Victoria, 1968, p. 160; Hoff, The National Gallery of Victoria, London and Melbourne, 1973, p. 71.

42     Bulletin, 15 June 1960, p. 26.

43     See NGV curatorial files, acquisition recommendation report of G. Thomson & C. Elwyn Dennis, September 1969. Other acquisition prices quoted above are similarly taken from the curatorial files of the NGV.

44     See T. Gott et al., 20th Century Painting and Sculpture in the International Collections of the National Gallery of Victoria, 2003, p. 104.

45     ibid., p. 122.

46     For attempts to raise the annual allocation for contemporary art, see Poynter, 2003, p. 514, PROV 805/P0004/33, Inward Registered Correspondence.

47     G. Sturgeon, Sculpture: 19th and 20th Century Australian, European and American Sculpture, NGV, Melbourne, 1982, unpaginated.

48     E. Westbrook, Birth of a Gallery, Melbourne, 1968, p. 35.

49     Felton Bequest 1974 (EA6-1974), see Gott, 2003, p. 105.

50     Sylvester & Browness, vol. 4, no. 503a/b; for discussion, see Wilkinson, 1979, cat. 160, p. 179.

51     Letter from Eric Westbrook to Henry Moore, 4 December 1964, PROV 12731/P0002/5 (which is the archival source also for all letters and documents related to this matter cited in the main text).

52     Memorandum from J. D. Rogers, CEO, the National Art Gallery and Cultural Centre Building Committee (NAGCCBC) to Roy Grounds and Eric Westbrook, 22 December 1964, PROV 12731/P0002/5.

53     NAGCCBC, minutes of Building Committee meeting, 13 April 1965, item 11 (a copy kept at PROV 12730/P0001/52, folder no. 22/5).

54     Letter, Westbrook to Moore, 24 May 1965, PROV 12731/P0002/5.