Past Exhibitions


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

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Isamu Noguchi at Brooklyn Botanic Garden
Tuesday, September 8, 2015 - Sunday, December 13, 2015

This fall, sculptures from The Noguchi Museum will be on display at Brooklyn Botanic Garden (BBG). Curated by Noguchi Museum Senior Curator Dakin Hart, the works will be sited throughout BBG’s outdoor and indoor public gardens.

The centerpiece of Isamu Noguchi at Brooklyn Botanic Garden will be a selection of some six works sited in BBG’s Japanese Hill-and-Pond Garden. Additional Noguchi sculptures will be installed in other spaces within BBG.


Image: Test installation of Isamu Noguchi's Strange Bird on turtle island in the Japanese Hill and Pond Garden, Brooklyn Botanic Garden. Photo by Liz Ligon; courtesy Brooklyn Botanic Garden and The Noguchi Museum.

Editing Area 5: A Re-installation and Progressive De-installation of Noguchi's Bronze Gallery
Wednesday, June 3, 2015 - Sunday, September 20, 2015

Before it became the Video Room (and then reverted back to a changing gallery in 2013), Area 5 was a gallery featuring 1960s-era bronzes. This summer it will be installed as close as possible to its original state--before the elevator went in, when the space was longer, had two additional doorways and was more open to Area 3. The exhibition will open with nine objects installed. On a regular schedule throughout the summer (approximately every two weeks), one or two pieces will be removed, with the aim being to leave the gallery looking, at every stage, like it had always been installed in its current state. In the end, only Stone of Spiritual Understanding will be left in an otherwise empty space.

In our 30th anniversary year the idea of the exhibition is to highlight Noguchi's original installation and the complex task of editing it--when necessary (as in the case of fundamental changes to the building or when pieces go out on loan), as well as when programmatically desirable. Additionally, the show will provide an opportunity to consider the importance, and the subjectivity and transience, of specific installation aesthetics. If it works, it should be legitimately possible to prefer it at different stages all the way along: from a quite densely-installed survey to a focused display of a single-object.

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Highlights from the Collection: Iconic Display
Wednesday, February 4, 2015 - Sunday, September 13, 2015

*Please note that this exhibition will not be on view between Wednesday, May 13 and Tuesday, May 26, 2015.

As part of its ongoing series of installations from the collection, the Museum presents Iconic Display.

Whether we realize it or not, and whether we consent to it or not, the contexts in which we encounter art are irremovable frames. The excerpted installations are ones that have proven epochal in shaping the critical interpretation and public perception of specific bodies of Noguchi's work--for better and for worse. They include Noguchi's participation in Fourteen Americans at MoMA (1946); his first Japanese exhibition, which took place in a Tokyo department store (1950); an installation by the architect Arata Isozaki for the Seibu Museum of Art (1985); and contemporaneous attempts, through exhibitions and photographs, to make sense of one of his largest and least well-understood bodies of work--the 26 galvanized steel editions he made for Gemini G.E.L. in the early 1980s.



Images (top to bottom):
Isamu Noguchi, Mitsukoshi Department Store (Tokyo, Japan), August 18 - 27, 1950, exhibition installation photograph
Isamu Noguchi: Space of Akari & Stone, Yurakucho Art Forum, Designed by Arata Isozaki, February 9 - 20, 1985, exhibition installation photograph
Isamu Noguchi's Rain Mountain in the parking lot behind Gemini G.E.L., c. 1984
Isamu Noguchi: Gemini G.E.L., Storm King Art Center (Mountainville, NY), May 15 - October 15, 1984, exhibition installation photograph

Noguchi + Pratt: An Exhibition
Wednesday, May 27, 2015 - Sunday, June 28, 2015

In spring of 2015, graduate interior design students from Pratt Institute were challenged to draw inspiration from Isamu Noguchi's work.

The students researched Noguchi's history, studied select objects included in the Museum's Highlights from the Collection: Iconic Display exhibition, and applied their knowledge to design a hypothetical annex for the Museum in the Brooklyn neighborhood of DUMBO.

Part of the project called for students to design a temporary exhibition for the space using the subjects of their research. On display will be design proposals, drawings, and student analyses of Noguchi objects.


Images: Left: Isamu Noguchi. Avatar. 1947 (cast 1983). Photo by Kevin Noble. Right: Carol Andrews. Avatar analytical drawing.

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Noguchi as Photographer: The Jantar Mantars of Northern India
Thursday, January 8, 2015 - Sunday, May 31, 2015

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.

Download the Exhibition Brochure


Photograph by Isamu Noguchi of Samrat Yantra (foreground) and Mishra Yantra (background) at the Jantar Mantar observatory, Delhi, India, 1949

Inside one of the Jai Prakash Yantras (armillary spheres) at the Jantar Mantar observatory, Jaipur, India, 1960

Rashivalaya (Zodiac instruments), at the Jantar Mantar observatory, Jaipur, India, 1949

Secret Garden: The Noguchi Museum at Collective Design Fair 2015
Wednesday, May 13, 2015 - Sunday, May 17, 2015

“If sculpture is the rock, it is also the space between rocks and between the rock and a man, and the communication and contemplation between.”
-Isamu Noguchi

Noguchi’s interest in rock was essentially boundless, encompassing all of its manifestations on earth, and off: in our structures and adornments, religions and myths, the tools we have developed trying to understand and manage our place in the world, and in our imaginations and languages.

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