Henry Moore’s interest in printmaking began after World War I and continued until the end of his life. It formed an increasingly important part of Moore’s work from the 1970s, when he worked with specialist printers and publishers internationally, to meet a growing demand for his art. In 1968 Henry Moore became his own publisher establishing a partnership with Curwen that was to last 28 years. However, the first prints he did with Curwen Press date back to 1958, they were the two editions called Eight Reclining Figures and Thirteen Standing Figures.
In his book Stanley Jones and the Curwen Studio, Stanley Jones, the Studio Director at Curwen, recalls visits to Moore’s Studio at Much Hadham. The excitement in these visits was evident as new proofs and variations were unwrapped and viewed on the walls and floor where the possibilities for editioning were discussed. In his visits to the Curwen, Moore would search under the presses for other artists’ images transforming their discarded images into his own realisations. Moore also found that towards the end of his life, and as the physical demands of sculpture proved increasingly difficult, lithography was an important way to develop ideas for his sculptures. The development of Henry Moore’s lithographic work can be traced through the pages of the catalogues devised by David Mitchinson (Moore’s personal assistant) and the Swiss publisher and gallery owner Gerald Cramer.