HistoryIn the early 1960's, Isamu Noguchi established a small art studio in Long Island City, Queens. For decades, this American artist produced some of his greatest works in this historic part of NYC. In the 1980s, he purchased a vacant industrial property that was in disrepair. Within a few years, Noguchi opened the Isamu Noguchi Garden Museum as a venue that celebrated nature and art. The core feature of the newly established museum was a sculpture garden that was essentially built around an old tree. Eventually, that centrepiece was named the Tree of Heaven by Noguchi. Through his extensive career, Noguchi had distinguished himself as one of the top landscape architects in the United States of America. Additionally, the internationalist style was heavily integrated into his works that included ceramics, furniture and other decorative items. In 1988, Noguchi passed away in his beloved New York City. Since then, the Noguchi Museum has expanded and paid tribute to the founder and many other affiliated artists worldwide. Throughout the years, the organization has formed strong relationships with other institutions in Japan. For example, the National Museum of Modern Art in Tokyo has loaned some artwork for the Noguchi Museum's temporary exhibits.
Collection and ExhibitsMore than 27,000 square feet of gallery space is included at the Noguchi Museum. On the ground floor, you can see a permanent collection of some of Noguchi's best works. The second level also primarily has artefacts that were made by him and some of his fellow colleagues. Sculpted busts of Japanese people and abstract carvings of musical instruments make up some of the intriguing items that are on display in the contemporary-themed galleries. Noguchi used simple and natural materials for most of the installations that now make up the museum's permanent collection. Granite, marble and various types of woods retain their organic beauty in the galleries. Another major highlight at the museum is an outdoor sculpture garden. This urban sanctuary contains the scattered ashes of Noguchi. Interestingly, some of his ashes were transported to an art studio in Japan. The tranquil sculpture garden is a great place to reflect upon his life and contributions to the fields of landscape architecture and forms of modern design.
Visiting The Noguchi MuseumThe Noguchi Museum is located in Long Island City, which is one of the largest neighbourhoods in the borough of Queens. A prime waterfront location along the East River adds to the appeal of the museum. In fact, the nearby Roosevelt Island and skyline of Midtown Manhattan are clearly visible from Long Island City. Socrates Sculpture Park and Rainey Park enhance the overall atmosphere around the museum. Located about a quarter mile away from the museum, the Broadway station is served by N and W trains of the NYC subway system. You can also take a ferry that stops at the Astoria terminal, which is just off the busy Vernon Boulevard. This ferry service offers direct links between various points in Queens and Lower Manhattan, including Wall Street. Numerous Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) bus lines may be used to reach and navigate the area near the Noguchi Museum. Another interesting way to get to the museum is to take the Roosevelt Island Tramway. After getting off from this aerial tramway, you'll need to cross the Roosevelt Island Bridge to reach Long Island City.
Location: 9-01 33rd Rd (at Vernon Boulevard), Long Island City, NY, 11106
Click here to visit The Noguchi Museum official website.
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