Isamu Noguchi

Year: 1904-1988

Born in Los Angeles. Son of poet Yonejiro Noguchi and American Leonie Gilmore. He moved to Japan with his family in 1906, spent his youth in Japan, and returned to the US in 1918. From 1919 to 1920, he studied sculpture with the sculptor Gaston Beaugrand and became a member of the National Sculpture Society in 1925. From 1922 to 1927, he studied pharmacology at Columbia University. 

After graduating in 1927, he received a Guggenheim scholarship to France to study under Brancusi. He also studied at the Grand Chaumière and the Académie Colarossi in Paris. From 1928 to 1931, he lived in France, Japan, Peking, Berlin, and Moscow before returning to the US. He submitted a drawing for the Newark airport at the WPA, which was rejected. In 1935, he worked on stage sets for the Martha Graham Dance Company.

In 1942, during World War II, as his own decision, Noguchi entered the Japanese American internment camp at Poston, Arizona, and returned to New York six months later. He did not have much contact with Japanese artists in New York, but he exhibited at the exhibition of Japanese Art, sponsored by New York Shimpo in 1927 and 1935. He passed away in New York in 1988.

Reference: Takashi Niimi (supervisor), Isamu Noguchi, Comprehensive Artist of the 20th Century: From Sculpture to Body and Garden, Heibonsha Press. (2017); “Isamu Noguchi: Articles on Deceased Artists in the Yearbook of Japanese Art” (National Research Institute for Cultural Properties, Tokyo: bukko/00-0.html) (accessed on 2024,1,29; New York Shimpo; Nichibei Jiho.

The subject of this entry was featured in one of our digital exhibits, “Japanese Artists During the Prewar Period in New York City- Artistic Trace from the 1910s to the 1940s –”.

Source: Courtesy of Wikipedia. Shared under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International license.
Added Date: 03/02/2024