The Noguchi Museum is a unique specimen among New York’s many and varied art museums. It is dedicated exclusively to the work of one person, Japanese-American artist and landscape architect Isamu Noguchi (1904-88), having been designed by him as a monument to his own life’s work; it contains the world’s largest single collection of the artist’s creations. Noguchi was himself a unique figure in the art world; primarily a sculptor, he also designed furniture, various public works, gardens and stage sets for the Martha Graham dance company.
The Museum was founded in 1985 in Long Island City, and greatly contributed to the development of that neighborhood as a center for artistic activity in the borough of Queens. It was designed as an open-air sculpture garden, encompassing 27,000 square feet over two stories, with 10 separate galleries. Galleries on the ground floor contain permanent installations of the artist’s work, while the second floor features rotating temporary exhibitions that offer a contextual perspective of Noguchi’s art.
The Museum also assembles traveling exhibitions and loans of the artists work for presentation at institutions worldwide. Also committed to research and education, the Noguchi Museum possesses a comprehensive archive of Noguchi’s work, as well as his personal records, manuscripts, correspondences and photographs.
Operated as a private entity by the Isamu Noguchi Foundation in its first two decades, in 2005 it was recognized as a Museum by New York’s Board of Regents, and as a public charity by the federal government.
Noguchi Museum Information
- Public Transportation: Fair (accessible by buses Q103 and Q104; subway lines N and Q at Broadway is a 15-minute walk; Sunday shuttle bus service is offered between the Museum and Manhattan)
- Handicapped Accessibility: Good
- Hours: Wednesday–Friday 10 a.m.–5 p.m., Saturday–Sunday 11 a.m.–6 p.m., Closed Monday–Tuesday, as well as New Year’s Day, Thanksgiving, and Christmas Day
- Admission: General admission $10, Seniors/Students (with valid ID) $5, Members/Children (under 12)/NYC public high school students, free
- Tours: Gallery talks take place Wednesday–Sunday at 2 p.m. (the first Friday and Sunday of each month, gallery talks are also given in Japanese). Group tours are available by appointment, for groups of 10 or more, in English, Japanese and Spanish
- Membership: Individual membership is $75 and is fully tax deductible. Benefits include free unlimited admission, 10% discount at the Museum shop, invitations to exhibition openings and member events, and more.