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In 1954, Moore was approached about a public commission for an outdoor site and suggested making a group 'conceived on human and classical lines'. Family Group was unveiled in May 1956 by the Chairman of the Arts Council of Great Britain, Sir Kenneth Clark, who congratulated Harlow 'on behalf of all those who believed in civilisation – for maintaining the great tradition of urban civilisation in making a work of art a focal centre of a new town.' For many people, this sculpture symbolised the universal aspirations of the post-war generation. The theme of the family could not have been more appropriate. Known as 'pram town' in the 1950s, Harlow had a birth rate three times the national average. Undoubtedly, 'Harlow Family Group' provided a readymade and fitting emblem for Harlow, and its image was used to illustrate anything to do with the New Town.

Harlow Art Trust

More information

Harlow Family Group




Hadene stone


H 170 x W 139 x D 81.5 cm;
Plinth: H 18 x W 146 x D 89 cm

Accession number


Acquisition method

commissioned, 1954; acquired, 1955

Work type



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