Noguchi Museum

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Queens, NY
United States
Noguchi Museum

Landscape Information

The Isamu Noguchi Garden Museum

In 1975, sculptor Isamu Noguchi purchased a 1920s-era brick factory building overlooking the East River in Queens and converted it into a studio and warehouse. The structure sits on a triangular lot bounded by Vernon Boulevard, 33rd Road, and 10th Street. On the building’s western elevation, Noguchi constructed an intimate interior courtyard, a seamless indoor/outdoor space, constructed of concrete and featuring pebbled trenches planted with columnar trees that carry the eye to the open sky. This transitional space connects with the large triangular sculpture garden that occupies the southern half of the lot. This serene, contemplative place is reminiscent of a traditional Japanese garden in its seclusion and form, as well as a work of sculpture in itself. A paved concrete walk extends from the interior courtyard out into the garden, which incorporates many of Noguchi’s large sculptures carved out of basalt and granite. The stone sculptures are intermixed with small flowering shrubs, a variety of mature deciduous trees, and verdant vines that drape the high perimeter walls. A 60-foot tall Tree of Heaven that predated Noguchi’s landscape design served as a focal point in the garden until it was lost to disease in 2008. Noguchi opened this warehouse as a public museum of his works in 1985; it underwent extensive renovations in the late 2000s.