Utterly unique, it’s the only museum in the nation to be founded by an artist in his lifetime, dedicated to his work and curated by him. As Noguchi (1904–88) was a genius in a number of fields—sculpture, architecture, ceramics, furniture design—he was more than up to the task, and created a space that is at once sublimely balanced and (often) rapturously beautiful. On-site are also a small cafe/bookstore; and an updated Zen sculpture garden (one of the most serene spots in the city). Gallery talks, free with admission and held at 2pm each day, are helpful for those not familiar with Noguchi’s work, as they illuminate the complex engineering issues and intentions behind his large, sometimes slab-like, non-representational works.
- Pauline Frommer