The Noguchi Museum – by the celebrated Japanese American sculptor

by Denise Marie

This New York art museum was founded in 1985 by the celebrated Japanese American sculptor Isamu Noguchi (1904-1988). Located in the Long Island City area of Queens, the two-story Noguchi Museum spans 24,000 square-feet and houses the many works of this influential artist including his sculptures, furniture and interior designs as well as drawings and architectural models.

The Building and Sculpture Garden

The Noguchi Museum is the perfect place to visit if you are seeking serenity in hectic New York. Housed within a converted factory building, Noguchi’s works are showcased in thirteen galleries and in the outdoor sculpture garden which the museum surrounds. The stark industrial space of this former photo-engraving plant offers a dramatic backdrop for Noguchi’s works. An extensive renovation in 2004 revamped the temperature control of the building, allowing it to stay open year-round. The Noguchi Museum also features an education center as well as a museum shop and cafe.

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Works on Display

The Noguchi Museum’s permanent collection features a stunning selection of his sculptures in a variety of materials including metal, clay, wood and stone. Visitors will experience a broad range of works from light sculptures to portrait heads to Italian marbles, as well as a selection of theatre sets, drawings, models for public works and gardens and architectural designs. The Noguchi Museum (which works together with the Isamu Noguchi Foundation in Japan) also hosts a program of visiting exhibitions and loans out works to other galleries for special shows.

Interior Design

Renowned for his creative use of space and desire to make sculpture relevant in day to day life, The Noguchi Museum also houses a special gallery dedicated to showcasing the artist’s work in furniture and interior design. Noguchi designed his first table in the 1930’s, which was commissioned by the then-president of the Museum of Modern Art for his home. The artist went on to develop many innovative furniture designs and contemporary interiors in the 1940’s. Visitors to the museum may be surprised at the several design pieces they are familiar with.

About the Artist

Isamu Noguchi was devoted to making sculpture a relevant and useful part of our world, not just static objects to be admired in galleries. He designed several sculpture gardens and children’s playgrounds in his biomorphic style of design which focuses on the power of natural life. Noguchi’s sculptures, gardens and playgrounds are points of interest in many cities in the U.S. and around the world including the Japanese Garden at the UNESCO Headquarters in Paris, the infamous Red Cube which stands outside the HSBC Building in Manhattan and children’s playgrounds in Atlanta, Georgia and Yokohama, Japan.

Education at the Noguchi Museum

Family programs are available at the museum including Open Studio (see website for dates and times), where families with children under 11 can explore the galleries and then create their own art with the help of museum educators. Families can drop in for Open Studio; no advance registration is required. The museum also offers an Art for Families program (families with children aged 5-11) and Art for Tots (families with children 2-4).

Visiting The Noguchi Museum

The Noguchi Museum is located at 9-01 33rd Road (between Vernon Boulevard and 10th Street) in Long Island City, New York. A gift store and café are located on-site.

Location: at 9-01 33rd Rd (between Vernon Boulevard and 10th St) in Long Island City, New York
Phone: 718-204-7088

Click here to visit The Noguchi Museum official website.

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Whitney Museum of American Art | Cutting-Edge Artwork

by Denise Marie

The Whitney Museum of American Art, located in the West Village/Meatpacking District, at 99 Gansevoort Street (and Washington Street), is one of the nation’s most important contemporary art museum, and arguably, the most important collection of modern American art in the world. Dedicated to supporting living American artists through acquisitions and exhibits, the Whitney Museum continues to display cutting-edge art of all genres.


The Whitney Museum was founded in 1931 through the energy and generosity of Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney, a sculptor herself. The museum’s initial collection consisted of 700 objects donated by Mrs. Whitney. Interestingly, she originally offered her collection to the Metropolitan Museum in New York. When she was turned down, she opened the Whitney. For the museum’s first twenty years, virtually all of the Whitney Museum’s acquisitions were the result of Mrs. Whitney’s generosity.

Originally housed in a Greenwich Village townhouse, the museum moved twice before settling into the mid-century modern structure designed in 1966 by Marcel Breuer, a member of the Bauhaus school. The 97-foot, 30,000-square foot building is noted for its gray granite exterior, inverted pyramid shape, and seemingly haphazard windows.

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The Collection

The Whitney Museum of American Art focuses on American art from the 20th and 21st centuries. The museum houses over 12,000 works in all genres by nearly 2000 artists. Highlights of the collection include a large holding of Alexander Calder’s work, the largest body of his art at any museum in the world. Other features include a large collection of Edward Hopper paintings, left to the museum by the artist’s estate, and substantial holdings of work by Georgia O’Keefe, Andy Warhol, Jasper Johns, Keith Haring, and Willem de Kooning. The museum also features a regular schedule of temporary exhibits, usually on topics a bit more avante-garde than are found at the Metropolitan or the MOMA. Recent shows have included American Art in the Age of Technology and The Warhol Look: Glamour Style Fashion.

Visiting the Whitney Museum of American Art

The Whitney Museum is open daily, except for Thanksgiving, December 25, and New Year’s Day. Admission discounts are offered to seniors, students and visitors with a disability. Admission is free to museum members and to children and teens 18 and under. The museum’s four spacious floors of exhibition space flow easily and provide a light and airy feel to the museum.

Tours of the museum’s highlights are offered periodically throughout the day at no additional charge. The Whitney boasts a seasonal American restaurant called “UNTITLED” with creations by Executive Chef Suzanne Cupps. The restaurant has striking views of the High Line, Hudson River and the NYC skyline. The Whitney offers several programs to help families best enjoy the museum, including special free “family cards” of the museum’s most important pieces, which list the important points about each work, and free sketchbooks for families to make their own interpretations.

The Whitney Museum of American Art is a celebration of this country’s unique artistic style. Bolder and more innovative than the other major New York museums, it’s a must-see for any true art lover.

Location: 99 Gansevoort St, New York City, New York
Phone: 212-570-3600

Click here to visit Whitney Museum of American Art official website.

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Studio Museum in Harlem | Promoting the Works of Artists of African Descent for 50 Years

by Denise Marie

Special Notice – At the time of this post, The Studio Museum’s building at 144 W. 125th Street is closed for construction for their new museum. Studio Museum 127, their temporary exhibition space, is located at 429 West 127th Street between Amsterdam and Convent Avenues. Opening hours are Thursday through Sunday, 12 to 6 pm.

The Studio Museum in Harlem has been promoting the works of artists of African descent since 1968. The museum features a dynamic schedule of rotating exhibitions that showcase contemporary art by African-American, Caribbean, and African artists.

Located on Harlem’s vibrant 125th Street, this small museum also houses a sculpture garden, a light-filled cafe, and many special events including concerts, walking tours and art programs for kids and families.

About the Exhibitions and Permanent Collection

This gallery is known for its fresh and exciting exhibits by both local and international black artists working in a variety of mediums from large-scale installations to video art. Highlights of past exhibitions include “Africa Comics” (hand-drawn comic strips from across the African continent) and “Harlem, USA” (works by photographer Dawoud Bey chronicling Harlem in the 1970’s).

The Studio Museum in Harlem often draws from its permanent collection of 19th and 20th century African-American art and artifacts for its exhibits. The permanent collection dates back over 200 years and features over 1,700 works in a broad range of media by more than 400 artists. The museum is particularly renowned for its large collection of works by legendary Harlem Renaissance photographer James VanDerZee.

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Artists-in-Residence Program

Each year, The Studio Museum in Harlem showcases the works of their Artists-in-Residence. These three emerging artists are granted a stipend and studio space (hence the museum’s name) for 12 months to create art in their chosen media. During their year in residency, these artists have 24-hour access to studio space located on the third floor of the museum.

The Artists-in-Residence program has launched the careers of many esteemed artists including Kerry James Marshall, Wangechi Mutu and portrait painter Kehinde Wiley.

Public Programs and Special Events

The Studio Museum in Harlem offers many engaging programs for adults, students, children and families making it a dynamic cultural hub in the community. Some examples include gallery tours that take a closer look at the museum’s permanent collection, lectures on the influence of African-American art in popular culture and walking tours that examine Harlem architecture. The Studio Museum also offers a variety of art workshops for kids of all ages.

There is also a full calendar of special events at The Studio Museum in Harlem, many of which take place on Sundays when admission is free. Examples of performances include violin concerts by the students of Opus 118 Harlem School of Music and shows by African drum and dance troupe Sounds of Afrika.

Visiting Studio Museum in Harlem

The Studio Museum in Harlem is located at 144 West 125th Street between Malcolm X Boulevard (Lenox Avenue) and Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. Boulevard (7th Avenue).

For more information on hours of operation, current exhibitions and upcoming programs and events, call 212-864-4500 or to visit The Studio Museum in Harlem official website.

Note: This information can change without notice. Confirm all details directly with official website.