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Oral history interview with Isamu Noguchi

Noguchi, Isamu, 1904-1988  Search this
Cummings, Paul  Search this
Artists' Union (New York, N.Y.)  Search this
Bollingen Foundation  Search this
Brummer Gallery (New York, N.Y.)  Search this
Japanese American Citizens' League  Search this
Japanese American Citizens' League  Search this
Leonardo da Vinci Art School  Search this
Skidmore, Owings & Merrill  Search this
UNESCO  Search this
Barnard, George Grey, 1863-1938  Search this
Becker, John Bruere, 1915-  Search this
Borglum, Gutzon, 1867-1941  Search this
Brancusi, Constantin, 1876-1957  Search this
Breton, André, 1896-1966  Search this
Brummer, Joseph  Search this
Cahill, Holger, 1887-1960  Search this
Calder, Alexander Stirling, 1870-1945  Search this
Calder, Alexander, 1898-1976  Search this
Collier, John, Jr., 1913-1992  Search this
Covarrubias, Miguel, 1904-1957  Search this
Davis, Stuart, 1892-1964  Search this
De Kooning, Willem, 1904-1997  Search this
Duchamp, Marcel, 1887-1968  Search this
Egan, Charles, 1911-  Search this
Fraser, James Earle, 1876-1953  Search this
Fuller, R. Buckminster (Richard Buckminster), 1895-1983  Search this
Gorky, Arshile, 1904-1948  Search this
Graham, John, 1887-1961  Search this
Graham, Martha  Search this
Gregory, Peter Ronald, 1947-  Search this
Guston, Philip, 1913-1980  Search this
Hare, David, 1917-1992  Search this
Hasegawa, Saburō, 1906-1957  Search this
Hopkins, Harry Lloyd, 1890-1946  Search this
Itō, Michio, 1893-1961  Search this
Kahn, Louis I., 1901-1974  Search this
Kantor, Morris, 1896-1974  Search this
Kline, Franz, 1910-1962  Search this
Knoll, Hans  Search this
Levy, Julien  Search this
Léger, Fernand, 1881-1955  Search this
McMahon, Audrey, 1900?-1981  Search this
Moore, Henry, 1898-1986  Search this
Neumann, J. B. (Jsrael Ber)  Search this
Price, Edison A., d. 1997  Search this
Raymond, Antonin, 1888-  Search this
Reynal, Jeanne, 1903-  Search this
Rivera, Diego, 1886-1957  Search this
Ruellan, Andrée, 1905-2006  Search this
Ruotolo, Onorio, 1888-1966  Search this
Schoen, Eugene, 1880-1957  Search this
Shoji, Sadao, 1937-  Search this
Stieglitz, Alfred, 1864-1946  Search this
Taniguchi, Yoshirō, 1904-  Search this
Ward, Eleanor, 1912-1984  Search this
Zorach, William, 1887-1966  Search this
148 Pages (Transcript)
1 Item (Audio excerpt: 1 sound file (5 min. 29 sec.), digital)
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Sound recordings
Japan -- Description and Travel
Italy -- description and travel
Egypt -- description and travel
India -- description and travel
1973 Nov. 7-Dec. 26
Scope and Contents:
An interview of Isamu Noguchi conducted 1973 Nov. 7-Dec. 26, by Paul Cummings, for the Archives of American Art.
NOVEMBER 7, 1973 session: Noguchi discusses his family background; growing up in Japan; returning to the United States in 1917; his identity as an artist; Gutzon Borglum; Columbia University and studying pre-med; attending Leonardo da Vinci Art School; apprenticing to Onorio Ruotolo; quitting Columbia to become a sculptor; Guggenheim Fellowship in 1927; J.B. Neumann; Alfred Stieglitz; George Grey Barnard; James Earle Fraser; Brummer and the Brummer Gallery; studying at Chaumiere and Collarosi; working with Brancusi; meeting Sandy Calder in Paris; Stuart Davis; Morris Kantor; Andrée Ruellan; his work, "Sphere"; reacting against Brancusi; Eugene Schoen's; his Carnegie Hall studio; Michio Ito; Martha Graham; Buckminster Fuller; traveling in China and Japan; meeting Chi Pai Shi; John Becker; his works, "Play Mountain," "Monument to the Plow," "Monument to Ben Franklin," and "Orpheus" for Balanchine; designing for the stage; Audrey McMahon; Harry Hopkins; Holger Cahill; Mexico; Diego Rivera; Miguel Covarrubias; and the Artists Union.
DECEMBER 10, 1973 Session: His reaction to the Spanish Civil War- avoided direct involvement; Stuart Davis; Gorky; Andre Breton; David Hare; Marcel Duchamp; John Graham; Julien Levy; his artist friends dying at the peak of their success; Leger; Stirling Calder; associating himself with the laboring class; Buckminster Fuller; being American; expanding the possibilities of sculpture; his Associated Press Building project in Rockefeller Center, it being done in stainless steel instead of bronze; John Collier; Japanese-American Citizens League; organizing Nisei Artists and Writers Mobilization for Democracy; Jeanne Reynal; going to Poston, Ariz. to assist with American Indian Service camp under John Collier and becoming an internee there; returning to New York in 1942; Bollingen Foundation; trip around the world in 1949; and Philip Guston.
DECEMBER 18, 1973 session: Best work in studio; reaction against expressionism; artists protesting against the Establishment; his objection to the WPA, influenced by William Zorach; exhibiting in group show called, "Fourteen Americans at the Museum of Modern Art"; show at Egan Gallery in 1949; accepting art in its most aesthetically pure form without reference to social issues; movement in Japan since war to get away from refinement of Japan; Yoshiro Hiro responsible for Gutai and the happenings; his work, "Monument to Heroes," using bones; his work takes years to do; materials used in his work; his work, "Cronos"; doing theater stage sets for the Library of Congress including, "Appalachian Spring" and "Herodiade"; wants a given space which he can call his own and do something with it, has to be a work of art.
DECEMBER 26, 1973 Session: Show with Charles Egan in 1948 arranged by de Kooning; applying to the Bollingen Foundation to write a book on leisure, which was never written; traveling to Italy, Egypt, and India for two years; being removed from the New York scene with Franz Kline and de Kooning; his light objects; sculpture as environment; respect for material; Mondrian and his art deriving from nature; his time in Japan in 1931; visiting Japan in 1951; working in stone; projects in Japan; Taniguchi; Antonin Raymond; designing Japanese gardens; discovery of Zen; Hasegawa Saburo; Skidmore; Hans Knoll; Edison Price; Italy in the 1960s; Peter Gregory; Henry Moore; Louis Kahn; UNESCO; Noguchi Foundation and Plaza Company; Shoji; Eleanor Ward; and his autobiography, "A Sculptor's World."
Biographical / Historical:
Isamu Noguchi (1904-1988) was a Japanese American sculptor based in Long Island City, New York.
Originally recorded on 4 sound tape reels. Reformatted in 2010 as 7 digital wav files. Duration is 6 hrs., 25 min.
These interviews are part of the Archives' Oral History Program, started in 1958 to document the history of the visual arts in the United States, primarily through interviews with artists, historians, dealers, critics and others.
Transcript available on the Archives of American Art website.
Asian American art  Search this
Asian American artists  Search this
Sculpture, Modern -- 20th century  Search this
Sculpture, American  Search this
Gardens, Japanese  Search this
Japanese American art  Search this
Japanese American artists  Search this
Asian American sculptors  Search this
Sound recordings
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
Online Media:

Gate, (sculpture)

Noguchi, Isamu 1904-1988  Search this
Taniguchi, Yoshiro 1904-1979  Search this
Painted steel, box girders
Sculptures-Outdoor Sculpture
National Museum of Modern Art Kitanomaru Park, Chiyodaku Tokyo Japan
Abstract--Geometric  Search this
Architecture--Detail--Gate  Search this
Control number:
IAS 87560649
Data Source:
Art Inventories Catalog, Smithsonian American Art Museums

Faculty Room and Garden, Shin Banraisha, (sculpture)

Noguchi, Isamu 1904-1988  Search this
Taniguchi, Yoshiro 1904-1979  Search this
Sculptures-Decorative arts
Keio University Tokyo Japan
Architecture interior--Education--College  Search this
Object--Furniture--Bench  Search this
Object--Furniture--Table  Search this
Abstract  Search this
Homage--Noguchi, Yone  Search this
Control number:
IAS 87560860
Data Source:
Art Inventories Catalog, Smithsonian American Art Museums

Sculptures by Isamu Noguchi

Noguchi, Isamu 1904-1988  Search this
Taniguchi, Yoshiro 1904-  Search this
Tange, Kenzō 1913-2005  Search this
Takemitsu, Toru  Search this
Minami Gallery (Tokyo, Japan)  Search this
Asahi Shimbun (Tokyo, Japan)  Search this
Noguchi, Isamu 1904-1988  Search this
Physical description:
[100] p. : ill. (some col.), plan, port. ; 25 cm
Call number:
NB237.N6 A4 1973
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries

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