Sculpture Journal

Diplomatic devices: Henry Moore and the transatlantic politics of the Time-Life building

Sculpture Journal (2020), 29, (1), 7–25.

Abstract

This article reinterprets Henry Moore’s Time-Life Screen (1952–53) through the contexts and constituents of its corporate patronage. While existing accounts regard the Time-Life Screen as ‘unambiguously abstract’ and ‘quite devoid of thematic content’, this article suggests instead that this idiosyncratic sculpture should be understood as engaging directly with the communicative requirements of its mass media patron. Through a detailed reconstruction of art and design of London’s Time-Life building as a whole, and the role of Francis ‘Hank’ Brennan in coordinating its aesthetic programme, this article repositions the Time-Life Screen as Moore’s most substantial entanglement in the politics of transatlantic diplomacy. To this end, it seeks to explore how the building, and Moore’s contributions to it, were involved in the ideological tensions of post-war Anglo-American relations, and the global ambitions of Henry Luce’s media empire.

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Author details

Taylor, Alex J.