The Noguchi Museum was founded and designed by internationally renowned, Japanese-American artist Isamu Noguchi (1904–1988) for the display of what he considered to be representative examples of his life’s work.
Noguchi constructed the Museum conglomerate as an open-air sculpture garden ensconced within architecture that encloses ten galleries. In its entirety, the Museum emanates visceral, meditative amplitude in which to appreciate Noguchi’s sculpture and design.
Visitors enter the space through the distinguished sculpture garden and while the ground-level galleries and garden contain a perpetual display of Noguchi’s work, the Museum routinely showcases transitory exhibitions that manifest a rich, contextualized view of Noguchi’s work in the upper galleries.
Noguchi’s beautiful and intriguing sculptures are made from a variety of materials, showing a great range of styles and skills.
The New York State Council on the Arts has recognized the Museum’s educational program, Art for Families, as a stellar example of a community outreach program, and Art for Tots as a “superb approach” in making young children comfortable in a museum setting.
Collection and Gallery
The Noguchi Museum holds the world’s largest and most extensive collection of Noguchi’s sculptures, drawings, models, and designs. This includes a Core Collection of artwork selected by Noguchi, which was documented in a catalogue published in 1987 that contained an accompanying text by the artist. These select works had great significance for Noguchi, many of which are permanently installed in the Museum’s galleries. This collection is available to browse below.
The Noguchi Museum’s holdings also include artworks acquired by and gifted to the Museum since 1988, constituting the Museum’s Permanent Collection. For additional information on these artworks and the complete corpus of Noguchi’s work please visit the digital Isamu Noguchi Catalogue Raisonné, a digital publication-in-progress available free to the public.
The museum consists of twenty-seven thousand square feet of gallery space on two floors as well as the sculpture garden. The ground-floor galleries contain a permanent presentation of Noguchi’s artwork, selected and arranged by the artist. The upper level contains additional artworks from the permanent collection as well as temporary thematic exhibitions relating to Noguchi’s artistic production and influence.
A Must See
The museum still thrives to this day, over 30 years later, in an artistic time and place where the industrious and independent Noguchi of 1975 would have felt right at home. Art aside, the space also hosts a small cafe and a gift shop. The Noguchi Museum Shop offers a selection of Noguchi light sculptures and Noguchi furniture. The original Noguchi light sculptures offered here have been in continuous production for over fifty years. Many of the Noguchi furniture and object designs have been re-introduced with the original manufacturers, along with some Noguchi designs that have not been produced until recently.
The Noguchi Museum remains a place for the exploration of individual artistic endeavor and creative collaboration through exposure to Noguchi’s eclectic practice. And just seeing the tranquil garden with Noguchi’s sculptures, weeping cherry trees and bamboo, are worth the trip alone.
General admission: $10
Senior Citizens: $5
Students with a valid ID: $5
NYC public high school students with a valid ID: FREE
Children under 12: FREE