As part of his extended tour to investigate people’s daily interaction with civic spaces and sacred sites throughout Europe, Asia, and the Far East, Isamu Noguchi first traveled to Northern India in 1949. Camera in hand, Noguchi discovered the eighteenth-century astronomical observatories in Delhi and Jaipur. Known as Jantar Mantar (translating loosely to “instruments and formulae”), these open-air campuses were comprised of astronomical instruments built on a grand architectural scale. Individual structures measured solar time, the celestial paths of the sun and moon and the latitudes and longitudes of planets and constellations, among other functions.
This exhibition, the first in a series focusing on Noguchi’s photographs, will feature a selection from Noguchi’s visits to the observatories between 1949 and 1960, a number of which were published contemporaneously in prestigious periodicals. A handful of objects related to Noguchi’s interest in linking mankind and its rituals to the cosmos will also be on display, among them his Skyviewing Sculpture for Western Washington University and Sky Gate in Honolulu.