Oral history interview with Isamu Noguchi

Summary
Collection ID:
AAA.noguch73
Creators:
Noguchi, Isamu, 1904-1988
Cummings, Paul
Dates:
1973 Nov. 7-Dec. 26
Languages:
English
.
Physical Description:
148 Pages
Transcript
1 Item
Audio excerpt: 1 sound file (5 min. 29 sec.)
digital
Repository:

Scope and Contents
Scope and Contents
An interview of Isamu Noguchi conducted 1973 Nov. 7-Dec. 26, by Paul Cummings, for the Archives of American Art.
Scope and Contents
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.
Scope and Contents
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.
Scope and Contents
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.
Scope and Contents
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
Biographical / Historical
Isamu Noguchi (1904-1988) was a sculptor from Long Island City, N.Y.

Administration
Immediate Source of Acquisition
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.

General
General
Originally recorded on 4 sound tape reels. Reformatted in 2010 as 7 digital wav files. Duration is 6 hrs., 25 min.

Using the Collection
Conditions Governing Access
Transcript available on the Archives of American Art website.

Keywords
Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Sculptors -- Interviews Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Asian American artists -- Interviews Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Sculpture, Modern -- 20th century Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Sculpture, American Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Gardens, Japanese Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Japan -- Description and Travel Place Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Italy -- description and travel Place Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Egypt -- description and travel Place Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
India -- description and travel Place Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Sound recordings Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Interviews Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Itō, Michio, 1893-1961 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Barnard, George Grey, 1863-1938 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Becker, John Bruere, 1915- Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Borglum, Gutzon, 1867-1941 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Brancusi, Constantin, 1876-1957 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Breton, André, 1896-1966 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Brummer, Joseph Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Cahill, Holger, 1887-1960 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Calder, Alexander, 1898-1976 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Calder, Alexander Stirling, 1870-1945 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Collier, John, Jr., 1913-1992 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Covarrubias, Miguel, 1904-1957 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Davis, Stuart, 1892-1964 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
De Kooning, Willem, 1904-1997 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Duchamp, Marcel, 1887-1968 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Egan, Charles, 1911- Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Fraser, James Earle, 1876-1953 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Fuller, R. Buckminster (Richard Buckminster), 1895-1983 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Gorky, Arshile, 1904-1948 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Graham, John, 1887-1961 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Graham, Martha Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Gregory, Peter Ronald, 1947- Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Guston, Philip, 1913-1980 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Hare, David, 1917-1992 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Hasegawa, Saburō, 1906-1957 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Hopkins, Harry Lloyd, 1890-1946 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Kahn, Louis I., 1901-1974 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Kantor, Morris, 1896-1974 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Kline, Franz, 1910-1962 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Knoll, Hans Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Léger, Fernand, 1881-1955 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Levy, Julien Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
McMahon, Audrey, 1900?-1981 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Moore, Henry, 1898-1986 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Neumann, J. B. (Jsrael Ber) Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Price, Edison A., d. 1997 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Raymond, Antonin, 1888- Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Reynal, Jeanne, 1903- Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Rivera, Diego, 1886-1957 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Ruellan, Andrée, 1905-2006 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Ruotolo, Onorio, 1888-1966 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Schoen, Eugene, 1880-1957 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Shoji, Sadao, 1937- Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Stieglitz, Alfred, 1864-1946 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Taniguchi, Yoshirō, 1904- Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Ward, Eleanor, 1912-1984 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Zorach, William, 1887-1966 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Artists' Union (New York, N.Y.) Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Bollingen Foundation Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Brummer Gallery (New York, N.Y.) Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Japanese American Citizens' League Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Leonardo da Vinci Art School Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Skidmore, Owings & Merrill Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
UNESCO Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Japanese American Citizens' League Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid

Repository Contact
Archives of American Art
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