The Noguchi Museum – Queens, New York - Atlas Obscura
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The Noguchi Museum

A self-made museum in Queens, New York continues to display the work of a sculptor known for paving his own way. 


In the modern era, it’s not only popular but also easy for creative people to find their own space. Writers and visual artists become their own publishers online. Social commentators can create entire exhibits in public places. Filmmakers can achieve instant distribution never dreamed of even a few short years ago.

Not long ago, fame and fortune had to be bestowed upon an artist by a third party, let alone the opportunity to reach an audience.

That’s what makes the Noguchi Museum in Queens, New York, such an artistic landmark. Founded in 1975, the museum was created by Isamu Noguchi himself, the sculptor whose work is permanently featured in the museum.

For years, Noguchi had lived and worked in the same studio in Long Island City, and one day noticed that the building across the street from his studio was for sale. Seeing an opportunity to expand his creative space, the sculptor bought the building and turned it into a museum to house and display his work, among other pieces of art.

The museum still thrives to this day, over 30 years later, in an artistic time and place where the industrious and independent Noguchi of 1975 would have felt right at home.

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