Virginio Ferrari (b. 1937)

Image of Virginio Ferrari's Love and Hope sculpture

Commissioned 1963
Installed 1967

94.5 x 78.7 x 47.2 in (240 x 200 x 120 cm)

Located at the University of Chicago Medicine's Silvain and Arma Wyler Pavilion
5837 S Maryland Ave

Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Albert Pick, Jr.

Artist Profile





Virginio Ferarri’s sculpture Love and Hope or Messagio di Speranza (Message of Hope) was commissioned by Mr. and Mrs. Albert Pick Jr. in 1963. It was a gift for the Silvain and Arma Wyler Children’s Hospital at the University of Chicago and was unveiled in the lobby in 1967 to an expectant audience. Due to administrative changes and the construction of the new Comer Children’s Hospital just two blocks north, the sculpture has been relocated outside the entrance to Wyler, which now serves as a general medical center. The sculpture at once announces itself as a decorative organic contrast to the stark Modernist entrance, and also stands as an intimate monument both to the building’s original purpose and to the families that used the hospital.

The eight–foot tall work depicts an uplifting scene between a mother and a child. The abstract figures positioned on the right are recognizably human, albeit with bulbous heads and extended limbs, and are perched atop an ascending sheet of bronze that extends upwards to the far left of the sculpture. The formal composition suggests a structural balance between the two themes of love and hope. While the mother and child are literally attached to the sheet of bronze, the two are presented as separate entities in the sculpture: love on the right, hope on the left. This structural binary between figurative depictions of two discrete yet harmonious emotions demonstrates Ferrari’s adeptness at presenting balance in his work. The intricately textured surface vacillates between rough and smooth, streamlined and jagged.


Written by Lexi Drexelius, AB in Art History, 2018


Related Links

Virginio Ferrari at The Renaissance Society, 1967

Ferrari Studios


Powers, Irene, “Many await unveiling of Ferrari Sculpture,” Chicago Tribune (Chicago, IL), Jan. 6th, 1967, 16

Quintavalle, Arturo Carlo, and Parma (Italy). Universita. Instuto di storia dell'arte. Virginio Ferrari: Gocce D'amore Pop. Parma: Tip. La nazionale, 1971.,34

Further Reading

Considine, Brian B. Conserving Outdoor Sculpture: The Stark Collection At the Getty Center. Los Angeles: Getty Conservation Institute, 2010

Ferrari, Virginio, Artist Statement