MIT List Visual Arts Center

Public Sculpture

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MIT's noted collection of outdoor sculpture, which may be enjoyed by MIT denizens and visitors alike, began to take shape in 1961. At that time, Mr. and Mrs. Samuel A. Marx, commissioned MIT's first outdoor sculpture, the familiar bronze piece on the plaza of the Hayden Library that is entitled Elmo-MIT. This first work inspired many subsequent gifts that have furnished MIT with numerous fine examples by major artists. Funds offered by Mr. and Mrs. Eugene McDermott in 1964 made possible the commission of MIT's signature sculpture, Alexander Calder's La Grande Voile (Big Sail) (McDermott Court). Additional loans, gifts and purchases have expanded, and continue to augment the Permanent Collection. Michael Heizer's Guennette (1977), is on long-term loan from the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. Several major bronzes by Jacques Lipschitz (Hayden Library courtyard, Building 14) have been acquired from Yulla Lipschits and other benefactors. Notable gifts include Jennifer Bartlett's enameled steel painting Overhill Road, Shawnee Mission (1977) located in NW30, and two large bronze reclining figures by Henry Moore (Killian Court and Wiesner Plaza).

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Henry Moore
Three-Piece Reclining Figure, Draped, 1976
bronze 8'83/4" x 15'7" x 8'8"
Gift of the Eugene McDermott Family and Other Friends of MIT
Photo by Regis de Silva