With the death of Henry Moore on August 31, our last living link with the world of Jacob Epstein and Henri Gaudier-Brzeska, of Ezra Pound and Roger Fry—the world of the London avant-garde in the years just before and after the First World War—has passed from the scene. Moore often spoke of what it had meant to him to have stumbled upon Fry’s Vision and Design, with its great essays on “Negro Sculpture” and “Ancient American Art,” while he was still a student at the Leeds School of Art. The year was 1920. “That,” said Moore in an interview in 1961, “was really the beginning.” He added that “another book that I found a great help and an excitement was Ezra Pound’s book on Gaudier-Brzeska.” These led, on the one hand, to an exploration of the British Museum, with its stunning collections of Egyptian, Etruscan, Mexican, and African...


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