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University of Chicago Library

Guide to the Mikkel Hansen Collection of Henry Moore 1967-1985

© 2019 University of Chicago Library

Descriptive Summary

Title:

Hansen, Mikkel. Collection of Henry Moore

Dates:

1967-1985

Size:

0.5 linear feet (2 boxes)

Repository:

Special Collections Research Center
University of Chicago Library
1100 East 57th Street
Chicago, Illinois 60637 U.S.A.

Abstract:

Correspondence, ephemera, photos, and news coverage related to the commission and installation of Nuclear Energy by Henry Moore. Program, invitation, ticket, and news coverage for December 2, 1967 unveiling ceremony commemorating the 25th anniversary of the first man-made self-sustaining nuclear reaction, which took place on December 2, 1942 at the University of Chicago under the direction of Enrico Fermi. Includes 1985-1987 correspondence with Roger Berthoud, author of The Life of Henry Moore (Faber and Faber, 1987.)

Information on Use

Access

This collection is open for research.

Citation

When quoting material from this collection, the preferred citation is: Mikkel Hansen. Collection of Henry Moore, [Box #, Folder #], Special Collections Research Center, University of Chicago Library

Biographical Note

Henry Spencer Moore (1898-1986) was a British sculptor active in the mid-twentieth century, known for his abstract monumental bronzes. Moore was born on July 30, 1898 in Castleford, England to parents Raymond Spencer Moore and Mary Baker. After serving in World War I, Moore began studying at Leeds School of Art in 1919 and the Royal College of Art, London in 1921 where he later taught and where he met Irina Radetsky whom he married in 1929. After continuing to make art in the 1930s and serving as an Official War Artist in World War II, Moore was featured in his first major retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art in New York in 1946, establishing him as an internationally renowned sculptor. In the same year, his daughter Mary was born. In 1948 Moore won the International Sculpture Prize at the 24th Venice Biennale, and from the 1950s until his death on August 31, 1986, Moore's work was commissioned in Britain and internationally.

Nuclear Energy is a cast bronze sculpture produced by Henry Moore between 1963 and 1967 and unveiled on December 2, 1967. It commemorates the 25th anniversary of the first man-made self-sustaining nuclear reaction, which took place on December 2, 1942 at the University of Chicago under the direction of Enrico Fermi. The sculpture was commissioned in 1963 by the Fermi Committee, comprised of Harold Haydon in the Department of Art, Consulting Architect I. R. Colburn, and William H. McNeill in the Department of History. Henry Moore intended the abstract shapes with varied smooth and sharp textures to resemble helmets, mushroom clouds, skulls, and architecture, and to evoke both the peaceful and the destructive uses of nuclear energy.

Mikkel R. Hansen was Assistant University Architect at the University of Chicago from 1966-1971 under University Architect James Lee Jones and his successor Harold Hellman. Hansen and University of Chicago History professor William H. McNeill visited Henry Moore's home in Perry Green, England, to discuss the Nuclear Energy sculpture, and Hansen was instrumental in installing and unveiling the sculpture in 1967. Born in Copenhagen, Denmark on October 5, 1927, Hansen earned his degree in architecture at the School of Architecture and Building Engineering in Copenhagen in 1954, moved to Chicago in the 1960s and became a United States citizen in 1964. He became a registered architect in Illinois in 1969, and in North Carolina in 1991 after moving to Black Mountain, NC in 1990.

Scope Note

The Mikkel Hansen Collection of Henry Moore contains correspondence, ephemera, photos, and news coverage related to the commission and installation of Nuclear Energy by Henry Moore. It is organized chronologically as physical condition allows. Most of the collection consists of a large scrapbook containing materials from the unveiling of Nuclear Energy in 1967, including photos of the sculpture and its installation, media coverage, an invitation to and program for the December 2nd unveiling ceremony (Folder 4). Folders 1 and 2 contain related items; in Folder 1, a piece of the red cloth used to cover the sculpture, a preliminary program and ticket to the unveiling ceremony, a photo of Henry Moore, and Chicago Sun-Times coverage of the events of December 2nd; in Folder 2, three black and white photos of Nuclear Energy. The material in Folder 3 dates between 1985 and 1987 and consists of correspondence with Roger Berthoud about Henry Moore and the Nuclear Energy unveiling. Berthoud used parts of Hansen’s account of the event in his 1987 book The Life of Henry Moore. Box 2 contains two objects used in the assembly and installation of the sculpture, a large metal key and a threaded brass plug.

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Subject Headings

INVENTORY

Box 1   Folder 1

Loose Scrapbook Clippings, 1967

Box 1   Folder 2

Loose Scrapbook Photos, n.d.

Box 1   Folder 3

Correspondence about Henry Moore, 1985-1987

Box 1   Folder 4

Scrapbook, 1967

Box 2

Large Metal Key

Box 2

Threaded Brass Plug