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Noguchi Museum

Coordinates: 40°46′00″N 73°56′17″W / 40.766674°N 73.938127°W / 40.766674; -73.938127
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The Noguchi Museum
Location32-37 Vernon Boulevard, Long Island City, Queens, New York
Coordinates40°46′00″N 73°56′17″W / 40.766674°N 73.938127°W / 40.766674; -73.938127
DirectorAmy Hau
Public transit accessNew York City Subway:
Broadway "N" train"W" train
MTA Bus:

The Noguchi Museum (chartered as The Isamu Noguchi Foundation and Garden Museum) is a museum and sculpture garden at 32-37 Vernon Boulevard in the Long Island City neighborhood of Queens in New York City, designed and created by the Japanese American sculptor Isamu Noguchi (1904–1988). Opening on a limited basis to the public in 1985, the museum and foundation were intended to preserve and display Noguchi's sculptures, architectural models, stage designs, drawings, and furniture designs. The two-story, 24,000 square feet (2,200 m2) museum and sculpture garden, one block from the Socrates Sculpture Park, underwent major renovations in 2004 allowing the museum to stay open year-round.[1]


Museum entrance

To house the museum, in 1974 Noguchi purchased a photogravure plant and gas station located across the street from his New York studio, where he had worked and lived since 1961.[2] The Isamu Noguchi Garden Museum opened to the public in 1985 on a seasonal basis.[3] At the time, it was the first such museum to be established by a living artist in America.[3]

In 1999, the Foundation Board approved a $13.5 million capital master plan to address structural concerns, ADA and NYC Building Code compliance and create a new public education facility. During renovation, the museum relocated to a temporary space in Sunnyside, Queens, and held several thematic exhibitions of Noguchi's work.[4] In February 2004, the museum was formally chartered as a museum, and granted 501(c)(3) public charity status. The Noguchi Museum reopened to the public at its newly renovated space in June 2004. The museum building continued to suffer from structural issues into the early 2000s and a second $8 million stabilization project was begun in September 2008.[5] As a result, there are now 12 galleries and a gift shop within the museum.

In 2022, the museum was awarded $4.5 million in capital funding, $1.5 million of which came from Mayor Eric Adams and the rest from Queens Borough president Donovan Richards.[6] The funds will be used for a restoration of the artist's original 1959 living and studio space situated opposite the museum as well as for a new two-story, 6,000-square-foot building adjacent to the studio to house the museum's collection and archival material.[7]

Tree of Heaven[edit]

Until March 26, 2008, a 60-foot (18 m)-tall 75-year-old Tree of Heaven (Ailanthus altissima) was a prominent centerpiece of the sculpture garden at the museum. The tree was spared by Noguchi when in 1975 he bought the building which would become the museum and cleaned up its back lot. "[I]n a sense, the sculpture garden was designed around the tree", said a former aide to Noguchi, Bonnie Rychlak, who later became the museum curator. By early 2008, the tree was found to be dying and threatened to crash into the building, which was about to undergo an $8.2 million renovation. The museum hired the Detroit Tree of Heaven Woodshop, an artists' collective, to use the wood to make benches, sculptures and other amenities in and around the building.[8]



The museum celebrated the 25th anniversary of its opening with the exhibition On Becoming an Artist. Isamu Noguchi and His Contemporaries, 1922 – 1960, which open from November 17, 2010, to April 24, 2011[9]

Other artists whose work have been featured include Koho Yamamoto.


The museum's educational program, Art for Families, is a community outreach program aimed at families. The museum also runs a program called Art for Tots for young children.[10]

Isamu Noguchi Award[edit]

Since 2014, the Isamu Noguchi Award has been given annually "to individuals who share [museum founder] Noguchi's spirit of innovation, global consciousness, and East-West exchange." Recipients have included:


See also[edit]


  1. ^ Glueck, Grace (May 10, 1985). "Noguchi and his Dream Museum". The New York Times. Retrieved June 13, 2009.
  2. ^ Vogel, Carolyn (June 8, 2004). "The Renovated Noguchi Museum Is Friendlier but Still Discreet". The New York Times. Retrieved June 13, 2009.
  3. ^ a b Ken Johnson (September 1, 2009), A Stillness in the City: The Raw Grace of Noguchi's Nimble Constructions New York Times.
  4. ^ Grace Glueck (May 30, 2003), Modernist in the Making: Noguchi's Many Voices New York Times.
  5. ^ "Sinking Noguchi Museum gets $8M". New York Daily News. March 21, 2008. Retrieved May 17, 2012.
  6. ^ Tessa Solomon (August 12, 2022), Noguchi Museum Gets $4.5 M. from NYC to Restore the Celebrated Sculptor's Queens Studio ARTnews.
  7. ^ Peter Libbey (April 16, 2019), Noguchi Museum Will Open Sculptor's Studio to Public After Restoration New York Times.
  8. ^ Collins, Glen (March 27, 2008). "A Tree that Survived a Sculptor's Chisel is Chopped Down". The New York Times. Retrieved May 17, 2012.
  9. ^ "Exhibitions:On Becoming an Artist: Isamu Noguchi and his Contemporaries, 1922–1960". The Noguchi Museum. Retrieved September 10, 2019.
  10. ^ Usui, Erika (March 10, 2011). "Art a family affair at The Noguchi Museum". Queens Chronicle. Retrieved May 19, 2024.
  11. ^ Kimberly Chou (May 15, 2014), Sculptor's Honors Cubed Wall Street Journal.
  12. ^ Hannah Ghorashi (December 2, 2015), Tadao Ando and Elyn Zimmerman Win the 2016 Isamu Noguchi Award ARTnews.
  13. ^ a b Claire Selvin (March 14, 2019), Rei Kawakubo Wins 2019 Isamu Noguchi Award ARTnews.
  14. ^ Camille Okhio (November 17, 2020), Noguchi Museum Presents Its Annual Award to AD100 Architect David Adjaye Architectural Digest.
  15. ^ Alex Greenberger (June 14, 2017), Noguchi Museum Director Jenny Dixon to Retire After 14 Years at Haven in Queens ARTnews.
  16. ^ Andrew Russeth (February 5, 2018), Drawing Center's Brett Littman Will Lead Noguchi Museum ARTnews.
  17. ^ Andrew R. Chow (February 5, 2018), Noguchi Museum Hires New Director New York Times.
  18. ^ Hilarie M. Sheets (December 8, 2023), Noguchi Museum Selects Female Director With Deep Roots in Queens New York Times.

External links[edit]