Isamu Noguchi


Isamu Noguchi (野口 勇, Noguchi Isamu, English: ; November 17, 1904 – December 30, 1988) was an American artist and landscape architect whose artistic career spanned six decades, from the 1920s onward. Known for his sculpture and public artworks, Noguchi also designed stage sets for various Martha Graham productions, and several mass-produced lamps and furniture pieces, some of which are still manufactured and sold.

In 1947, Noguchi began a collaboration with the Herman Miller company, when he joined with George Nelson, Paul László and Charles Eames to produce a catalog containing what is often considered to be the most influential body of modern furniture ever produced, including the iconic Noguchi table which remains in production today. His work lives on around the world and at the Isamu Noguchi Foundation and Garden Museum in New York City.

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Modernist sculptor and designer was born in Los Angeles to Yone Noguchi, a Japanese poet and teacher, and Leonie Gilmore, an American novelist. His early years (1906-1918) were spent in Japan. He attended high school in Indiana. After high school he worked briefly for the American sculptor Gutzon Borglum and later studied in Paris (1927-1928) where he met Calder, Giacometti, and Brancusi, in whose studio he worked for six months. He traveled frequently and spent time in New York, London, Beijing, (post-war) Japan, and Mexico. He worked as a portraitist and decorator during the war years, and from 1935 began designing sets for the stage, most notably for Martha Graham. He worked primarily as a sculptor, but created designs for parks, monuments, playgrounds, fountains, and gardens. His designs for furniture and lighting (akari) remain in production.

Country of birth

United States


Artist, designer, environmental designer, furniture designer, garden designer, interior designer, landscape architect, sculptor

ULAN identifier



Isamu Noguchi, ノグチイサム, 野口イサム

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Information from the Getty Research Institute's Union List of Artist Names ® (ULAN), made available under the ODC Attribution License. Accessed May 11, 2024.