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Isamu Noguchi

American, 1904 - 1988

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The son of a Japanese poet father and an American writer mother, sculptor Isamu Noguchi forged an aesthetic vision that reflected the richness of his dual American and Japanese heritage. As a young artist, Noguchi studied in New York, Paris, London, Beijing and Kyoto. His earliest sculptures were made under the tutelage of the great Romanian-born sculptor Constantin Brancusi, with whom the artist studied in the late 1920s in France. Although stone would become his material of choice, Noguchi also worked in clay, paper, wood, and bronze. He became celebrated as a designer of rock gardens, Akari lanterns, furniture, and stage sets. A precursor to the global artists who emerged later in the 20th century, Noguchi established studios in United States and Japan and regularly worked in Italy. His work is included in museum collections around the world, including, The Philadelphia Museum of Art, and his large outdoor monument to Benjamin Franklin, “Bolt of Lightning”, can be seen in Philadelphia at the entrance to the Ben Franklin Bridge.

Isamu Noguchi at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, 2009

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