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.
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.
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
Click here to visit The Noguchi Museum official website.
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