isamu noguchi museum launches online archive of 60,000 unique pieces
 

isamu noguchi museum launches online archive of 60,000 unique pieces

the noguchi museum announces the digital launch of isamu noguchi archive featuring 60,000 archival photographs, manuscripts, and digitized drawings. it coincides with the artist’s 115th birthday, celebrating his oeuvre by expanding the museum’s web presence and making a trove of resources on the art and life of noguchi accessible to the public.

isamu noguchi, ‘paphnutius’ (1924), photo © the isamu noguchi foundation and garden museum, new york / ARS

 

 

the isamu noguchi archive contains the most comprehensive body of information on the life and work of isamu noguchi. it consists of an extensive photographic collection; manuscripts; correspondence; exhibition, publication, and project records; press clippings; and architectural drawings, as well as documentation of the many objects, artifacts, and tools noguchi collected during his travels.

 

 

spanning six decades, noguchi’s oeuvre ranges from landscape projects to interiors, stage sets to furniture design. an extension of his research into sculpture, some of his most iconic works included a series of paper lamps he called akari. over the course of his life, noguchi blended elements of the traditional lantern with electricity, creating contemporary art by marrying ancient craft with twentieth-century technology. he would go on to create more than 200 models of akari.


isamu noguchi, ‘akari uf3-q, uf4-33n, uf3-s, and 14a’, photo © the isamu noguchi foundation and garden museum, new york / ARS

 

 

the digital launch of the isamu noguchi archive is the result of a major multiyear project, which digitizes over 60,000 unique items. this includes over 28,000 photographs documenting noguchi’s artworks, exhibitions, and studios, as well as the influential figures he knew and worked with and never-before-seen personal photographs documenting his global travels.


isamu noguchi, ‘katchina’ (1943, partially reconstructed 1995), photo © the isamu noguchi foundation and garden museum, new york / ARS

 

 

other archival materials include correspondence, exhibition and project records, press clippings, and architectural drawings and plans, as well as extensive new documentation of objects and artifacts that noguchi collected during his lifetime. the museum has also updated the isamu noguchi catalogue raisonné, expanding it to around 5,000 works spanning six decades and including considerable new research around noguchi’s earliest artworks and exhibitions: those from the 1920s and 1930s.

isamu noguchi, ‘associated press building plaque’ (1938-1940), photo © the isamu noguchi foundation and garden museum, new york / ARS

 

 

‘the noguchi museum is devoted to increasing awareness and understanding of noguchi’s multifarious achievements over a sixdecade career,’ says noguchi museum board chair malcolm nolen. ‘the museum is deeply grateful to the henry luce foundation, which generously supported this undertaking with a crucial grant. this leadership support joins an extraordinary gift from tsuneko and the late shoji sadao to establish and sustain the catalogue raisonné.’

isamu noguchi, ‘contoured playground’ (1941 – 1963), photo © the isamu noguchi foundation and garden museum, new york / ARS

 

 

‘the materials that are now available to everyone with access to the internet manifest the protean, interdisciplinary nature of noguchi’s work,’ adds museum director brett littman. ‘they will not only enlighten those who browse the digital archive and catalogue raisonnė, but it will also inform the museum’s programming as new ideas and directions take form. deepest thanks to the past and present members of the museum’s staff who made this happen and who will carry the project forward.’


the noguchi museum, photo by nicholas knight © the isamu noguchi foundation and garden museum, new york / ARS

 

 

first launched in 2011, the digital isamu noguchi catalogue raisonné is the authoritative resource for research and general interest regarding noguchi’s artistic practice. as an early adopter of the digital catalogue raisonné format, the publication has long served as a model for artist foundations and other organizations undertaking similar initiatives.


isamu noguchi, ‘leda’ (1928 – 1985), photo © the isamu noguchi foundation and garden museum, new york / ARS


isamu noguchi, ‘paris abstraction’ (1928), photo by kevin noble. © the isamu noguchi foundation and garden museum, new york / ARS

isamu noguchi, ‘strange bird’ (1945 – 1988), photo © the isamu noguchi foundation and garden museum, new york / ARS


isamu noguchi, ‘portrait of isamu noguchi’ (1955), photo by louise dahl-wolfe, © the isamu noguchi foundation and garden museum, new york / ARS

 

project info

 

institution: noguchi museum
format: online
access: the isamu noguchi archive

  • As a Masters student reading Curation, this is vital . A lot of online archives are not available yet or incomplete. Wonderful news!

    Maire Grieves says:

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