University of Chicago
Albert Pick Hall of International Studies
5825 South University Avenue
Donated by Albert Pick Jr. and the Polk Brothers Family Foundation, this four-part bronze sculpture was created by Virginio Ferrari (born 1937) during the time he served as artist-in-residence and assistant professor of art at the University of Chicago (1966-1976). All four segments are anchored by a 14-foot square limestone base and the tallest component is 15-feet in height. While the group may be understood as a stylized depiction of two figures in “dialogue” beneath a tree and next to a low sloping landscape element, the sculpture is more famous for the shadow that it is rumored to cast at noon on May Day each year. The shadow seems to portray a sickle, resembling the one found on the flag of the Soviet Union, and a hammer, although the head is somewhat different from the Soviet symbol. Ferrari denies that he intended the imagery but every year a crowd of curious spectators gathers to witness the event.