Henry Moore's sculpture, "Large
Arch," which centers the Cleo Rogers
Memorial Library plaza, was commissioned at the suggestion
of I. M. Pei, architect of the library
building. He wanted Henry Moore to design a sculpture that would
serve as a focal point to control the space of the plaza between
two architectural masses presented by the library and by Eliel
Saarinen's First Christian Church with its towering campanile.
"Large Arch" was given by Mr. and Mrs. J. Irwin Miller to Bartholomew County Public Library to create the plaza's center. Mr. Moore, considered one of the greatest artists of the twentieth century, was 73 years old when he created this sculpture.
The organic quality of "Large Arch" is a direct contrast to the geometric shapes of the nearby buildings. It reflects primitive simplicity and the power evident in onolithic sculpture of the past. It is 20 feet tall, 12 feet wide and weighs five and one-half tons. The patina has always been a rough green and has changed little over the years.
It was designed in Mr. Moore's studio at his home in Much Hadham in England and sandcast in bronze in fifty sections at the Herman Noack foundry in West Berlin, Germany. The pieces, one-fourth to one-half inch thick, were welded with invisible seams. "Large Arch" was shipped to the United States in a single piece.
The green patina is a natural aged look for bronze, if in a climate free of air impurities, and was created through a special process, directed personally by Mr. Moore at the foundry.
"Large Arch" is an enlarged version of "Large Torso; Arch" which was sculpted 1962-1963. Seven castings were made of this small arch. One is housed at the Sculpture Court at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. One additional "Large Arch" was completed for Henry Moore's home, the Hoglands, in Much Hadham, Hertfordshire, England.
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