When I was a boy, the educated English middle class was loyal to some figures of what was a presumed “great tradition” of “English” culture. Who was the great modern poet? TS Eliot. The sculptor? Henry Moore. The painter? Graham Sutherland. The composer? Benjamin Britten. They were a quadrumvirate.
For this section of a by modern standards spartan class, whose festivals were musical (Aldeburgh and Glyndebourne) and whose members would meet in each other’s houses for “drinks”, consumed standing, before they returned to their own for Sunday lunches, those figures were reference-points.
The novelist? This was already less clear. Greene? Snow? Snow even after Leavis?
Sutherland and Britten came together at Coventry Cathedral in 1962, at an event which was the high point of this phase of culture.
Here is a BBC television Monitor documentary on Moore from 1960, along with much more on Moore from their archive.