Isamu Noguchi, Daruma, 1952. Terra-cotta sculpture.


Karatsu stoneware
My work with ceramics can be divided into several periods. My earliest efforts, in 1924, were simply baked earth, terra-cotta, which I made with the support of Onorio Ruotolo in New York. In 1931 I apprenticed myself to Jinmatsu Uno in Kyoto, Japan, for about four months during which time I experimented further with terra-cotta. These efforts were shown at the John Becker Gallery in New York in 1932. Following the war, in 1950, I returned to Japan and made ceramics in Seto. These were shown at Mitsukoshi in Tokyo soon after they were completed. In 1952 I was befriended by Kitaoji Rosanjin, the great potter, in whose kiln I was able to fire many ceramic sculptures. All of these pieces were shown at the Museum of Modern Art in Kamakura, which had just opened that year. Many of them were later shown at the Stable Gallery in New York. Daruma was among them.
Original Noguchi Collection
Quotations by Isamu Noguchi from The Isamu Noguchi Garden Museum (New York: Harry N. Abrams, Inc., 1987), unless otherwise noted.