Hayden Library (Building 14W)
Elmo-MIT was the first outdoor sculpture at MIT. It was commissioned with donated funds and its success inspired the next commission, to Alexander Calder, and the continuing practice of placing large-scale sculpture in the campus landscape. The work also represented Hadzi’s first architectural commission.
Translating to “helmet” in Italian, Elmo refers to the artist’s formal interest and reflection on Greek armor as well as Renaissance images of warriors. According to Hadzi, the sculpture’s helmet-like protrusion recalls the domed architecture of Italy and military motifs from classical antiquity, as well as the cloud of the atom bomb. In a 1981 interview with Robert Brown for the Archives of American Art, Hadzi stated that the over life-size scale of the sculpture was intended to communicate brutality and strength.
65 in. x 52 in. x 56.5 in. (165.1 cm x 132.08 cm x 143.51 cm)
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Samuel A. Marx