It is nearly unheard of for an artist to create a museum for his own artwork, but Isamu Noguchi was never afraid to take a chance. A prolific sculptor, designer, and landscape artist, Noguchi created the Noguchi Museum to preserve his legacy. It is the world’s largest collection of Noguchi’s artwork, and a beautiful oasis in Long Island City.
Set in beautiful post-industrial galleries with lots of natural light, you’ll find his massive carved boulders, whimsical steel origami, and minimalist furniture designs. Since Noguchi was so involved in the design of the museum, I find a uniquely intimate art experience that gives the viewer a strong sense of Noguchi as an artist and a person. As I pass through the Japanese-inspired doorway, proceed through the twelve zen galleries, and meditate in the oasis of the central courtyard garden, I feel a connection to Noguchi that could not be achieved in any other setting!
Now on view is a collection of sculptures from Noguchi’s internment in a Japanese detention camp in Arizona during WWII. As a resident of the northeast, Noguchi was not required to go to the camp, but volunteered to spend nearly a year there to create these sculptures for his fellow Japanese-Americans.
The museum has free first Fridays every month. I also recommend visiting the museum gift shop, which is a great place to pick up minimalist-chic furniture designed by Noguchi himself!