Robert Sainsbury and Henry Moore and Bird Form II, c. 1979. Credit: ITV Anglia. Sainsbury Research Unit Archives, University of East Anglia, with kind permission from the Henry Moore Foundation.
Moore in Focus: A Friendship in Letters is a new exhibition designed and curated by students on the University of East Anglia's 2013-2014 Museum Studies MA course.
The most remarkable things get recorded in a letter. A short note to a friend can say little but mean everything. This exhibition invites you into the friendship which in so many ways shaped the inspiring collection and iconic building that comprises the Sainsbury Centre, that of Sir Robert Sainsbury and Lisa, Lady Sainsbury and the great Modernist artist Henry Moore.
On display for the first time, the show features a selection of personal correspondence between the Sainsburys and Moore, including letters, postcards, photographs and an audio recording, carefully preserved in the Sainsbury Research Unit Archive since its donation to the University. Both high-profile public figures, the correspondence reveals the humble nature of Robert and Henry and their families; in one postcard Moore hints at his glee at being away from the parties thrown for him by the Tate Gallery, the men quip about the trials of shaving, and Sainsbury delightedly supplies his friend with the latest school report of his son David, who was also Moore's godson.
The display will be accompanied by a programme of educational activities for both children and adults