Daughter in new court battle over sculptor's legacy

JOJO MOYES

Works worth millions of pounds by Britain's most famous sculptor, Henry Moore, were at the centre of a new dispute yesterday as the sculptor's daughter renewed her High Court battle for their control.

Mary Spencer Moore, who is acting under her married name Mary Danowski, is appealing against a High Court judgment that passed ownership of her father's works to the Henry Moore Foundation in Perry Green, Hertfordshire.

In 1993, Ms Danowski was left facing six-figure court costs after failing in an attempt to claim pounds 200m of her father's sculptures and drawings from the trust he set up in the final years of his life.

In 1976, she and her mother had helped Moore set up the foundation to safeguard and promote appreciation of his work. A year later, and until his death aged 88 in 1986, the sculptor became an employee of the foundation's trading arm, HMF Enterprises, because of his worries about tax liabilities.

The foundation was given his personal collection, and for the final 10 years of his life paid him a pounds 45,000-a-year salary. In return his works from that time became the property of the trust.

Lord Irvine QC, representing Ms Danowski, 48, told the Court of Appeal yesterday that the argument centred on the ownership of the works created during that period.

"It is a pity that a major dispute such as this has arisen over one of the country's greatest artists of the century and the body set up to protect his artistic legacy. But such a dispute has arisen, and we owe it to the artist that the dispute is correctly resolved," Lord Irvine said.

He said that Ms Danowski claimed that all her father's artist's copies of his works were his personal property and became part of his personal estate after his death.

Lord Irvine said the case was of great importance to the art world because of the challenge it presented to the Artist's Copy Convention. The question to be answered was how far artistic freedom could be breached by "contractual fetters". Under the unwritten convention, sculptors are allowed to produce up to two versions of a limited edition which then become their own property to be disposed of as they wish.

Moore used to give these to his family, but after 1977 gave the artist's copies to the foundation. According to Lord Irvine, the foundation claimed that because Moore was an employee of HMF Enterprises, he had given up his rights to artists' copies and from the very moment of creation, everything he produced became the property of the company.

At the High Court in 1993, Mr Justice Evans-Lombe ruled against Ms Danowski and held that the 1977 agreement stated plainly that ownership of all works, including artist's copies, was vested in the company.

The case continues today.

Suggested Topics
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: Client Services Manager - Relationship Management - London

£30000 - £32000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, int...

Recruitment Genius: Credit Controller / Customer Service

£18000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This rapidly expanding business...

Recruitment Genius: Electronics Engineers / Senior Electronics Engineers

£25000 - £55000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Based in Henley-on-Thames, this...

Austen Lloyd: Private Client Solicitor - Oxford

Excellent Salary : Austen Lloyd: OXFORD - REGIONAL FIRM - An excellent opportu...

Day In a Page

Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

Army general planning to come out
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project