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LIFE: Henry Moore’s Sheep Piece
Henry's Moore, 'Sheep Piece' on his estate at Much Haddam, England © 1983 John Loengard
The sculptor Henry Moore was in his 80s in 1983. At four o'clock I was at his estate outside London, it started to snow. It was getting dark. I thought the snow might pile up gently over the night. I said to Todd Brewster, a writer who was with me, “Let's come back at dawn.” It was wonderful. Snow was still falling, and everything was pristine. Moore kept several statues in his fields. Neighbor’s sheep grazed about them and gave them scale.
One sculpture was called Sheep Piece, but the sheep were off across the field. I went over to them, but I am from New York City. They backed off. I turned to the Todd. “Todd, what about you?” He went over to the sheep, and either because he grew up in Indiana or because he smelled right, they followed him until he stood hidden behind the sculpture. All the sheep stood around him, happy as clams, or whatever. It made a wonderful picture.
I couldn't have done it without Todd. I also couldn't have done it without the sheep—so I'm thankful to them, too. I couldn't have done it without Henry Moore and the shape of his sculpture. I couldn't have done it without God putting snow over the whole thing. I’d like to be cocksure where I come in, and where they left off, but I think you have to be very humble to be a photographer.
(Interview on May 22, 1993. Excerpted from: John Loengard, LIFE Photographers: What They Saw, Boston, A Bullfinch Press Book, 1998)