Past Exhibitions


View photographs and learn more about past exhibitions at The Noguchi Museum and other institutions around the world.

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From Plaster to Stone
Monday, May 25, 2009 - Sunday, August 30, 2009

On view at The Noguchi Museum March 25 – August 30, 2009 Beginning in the 1940s, Isamu Noguchi began using small paper models as an aid in creating his larger biomorphic sculptures. Noguchi continued this practice for the rest of his career, using plaster maquettes to envision larger stone or metal works, often including penciled instructions on them to guide different technical effects. In this small exhibition created in conjunction with The Noguchi Museum’s Education Department, a selection of Noguchi’s maquettes is presented with photographs and finished sculptures to illustrate both Noguchi’s faithfulness to his original ideas and his flexibility in response to the unpredictable nature of stone.

What is Sculpture? Akari from the 1986 Venice Biennale
Wednesday, February 18, 2009 - Sunday, May 31, 2009

On view at The Noguchi Museum February 18 – May 31, 2009 When Isamu Noguchi was invited to represent the United States in the 1986 Venice Biennale, he juxtaposed stone sculpture with his Akari Light Sculptures to communicate his ideas on the reflexive relationship between the material he employed and his belief in the inner “essence” of sculpture. Noguchi had been experimenting with the conventional Japanese lamp’s mulberry paper and bamboo construction for over three decades, adapting its form to express the contrast between permanence and the transitory, between the traditional and modern invention, and between fine and functional art. Akari translates as “light as illumination”. For Noguchi, light acted as one aspect of the perception of space, and space was a central concern of his career. The Noguchi Museum will present a small but significant display of Noguchi’s Akari Light Sculptures, as they were featured in the American Pavilion at the 1986 Venice Biennale exhibition, with several one-of-a kind designs balanced by smaller, iconic forms that remain in production today.

The Full Figure and Portraiture 1926-1941
Wednesday, February 13, 2008 - Friday, May 15, 2009

Was on view at The Noguchi Museum February 13, 2008 through March 15, 2009 The Noguchi Museum exhibited a full figure bronze sculpture, entitled Undine (Nadja), in its first public exhibition since the 1920s. Isamu Noguchi’s unique vision emerged in response to the Western figurative traditions and techniques he experienced firsthand in the workshop of the sculptor Gutzon Borglum and through his mentor, Onorio Ruotolo. Organized around Undine, this exhibit also highlights a selection of portrait busts from the permanent collection which illustrate Noguchi’s growing confidence owing to his formative academic training and a natural gift for incisive portraiture.

Isamu Noguchi at Yorkshire Sculpture Park
Thursday, July 17, 2008 - Monday, May 4, 2009

The first major European exhibition of Isamu Noguchi’s work is presented at England’s Yorkshire Sculpture Park. With more than 150 sculptures, drawings, and dance and theater sets from The Noguchi Museum's collection, including five major sculptures from the Isamu Noguchi Garden Museum in Mure, Japan, the selection represents nearly every facet of Noguchi’s career. The work is situated throughout the YSP’s four indoor galleries, located within a pastoral environment of eighteenth-century parkland. Corresponding to Noguchi’s enduring interest in the interaction between art and landscape, some work is also sited outdoors, complementing the park’s permanently displayed sculptures and installations.

The Third Mind: American Artists Contemplate Asia, 1860 - 1989
Saturday, January 3, 2009 - Sunday, April 19, 2009

This exhibition illuminates the dynamic and profound impact of Asian art and philosophical concepts on American artistic practices of the late 19th century, early modern, and postwar avant-garde periods. Accompanying The Third Mind, the Guggenheim Museum's Sackler Center for Arts Education will feature Noguchi: The Bollingen Journey 1949-56, an exhibition of selected photographs by Isamu Noguchi taken while traveling the world on a Bollingen Fellowship. This small exhibition will also include a limited-edition Ivory Press book, Isamu Noguchi, 18 Drawings and 18 Photographs, as well as a text by Pico Iyer. Both exhibitions will be on view at the Guggenheim through April 19, 2009. For more information please visit

Highlights from the Collection
Wednesday, June 18, 2008 - Sunday, January 18, 2009

On view at The Noguchi Museum June 18, 2008 – January 18, 2009 The Noguchi Museum presents a survey of over 20 works drawn from its collection, including a number of rarely seen sculptures. Objects representing many aspects of Noguchi’s career are installed in the second floor galleries, ranging from ceramics completed during Noguchi’s visits to Japan in the early 1950s to works from the last two decades of his life when he was increasingly dedicated to working with the natural properties of a variety of stones.