Visiting the Noguchi Museum in Queens
February 27, 2012 MuseumChick
After a winter stroll through the Socrates Sculpture Park, I walked one block south to The Noguchi Museum. This small duplex museum housed in a 1920s industrial building has an unrefined and modern feel with brick walls, cement floors, and exposed beamed ceilings- a sharp contrast to Noguchi’s smoothly polished and brightly colored pieces. With ample walking space in between pieces, even on this semi-crowded weekend I could stroll the museum unrushed and without distraction. This ideal situation for viewing art has been hard to find in NYC museums for me lately.
Isamu Noguchi (1904–1988) was a Japanese-American artist. Although born in Los Angeles, Noguchi lived in Japan in his young life, moving back to the US at age thirteen. While taking evening sculpture classes on New York’s Lower East Side, he decided to become an academic sculptor, training in the US and Paris. In 1938, he was first recognized in the US when he completed a stainless steel relief called “News” symbolizing the freedom of the press on the Associated Press building in Rockefeller Center. He went on to complete many outdoor sculptures in NYC, including my favorite, a modern, bright red and precariously balancing cube called “Red Cube”, located in the financial district, off of Williams Street. For an example of Noguchi’s outdoor, unrefined sculpture go to Central Park. “Unidentified Object”, done in 1979, sits in the park by the Metropolitan Museum of art off of E 80th Street. My next mission is to get some pictures of these sculptures and post them for you. I’ll link them when I do.
Noguchi opened and personally designed this museum in 1985, at that point this area was still mainly industrial. Today this area of Long Island City, Queens is quickly developing with brand new high rise condos that overlook the East River and quaint cafes.
©2012 Danee Gilmartin All rights reserved