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Noguchi Museum plans major expansion in Long Island City

The Queens institution, which is dedicated to the life and work of Isamu Noguchi, will become more accessible to visitors

A rendering of the new Noguchi Museum campus.
Rendering by Buro Koray Duman

Nearly 35 years after it opened, the Long Island City museum dedicated to the work of designer and landscape architect Isamu Noguchi is getting a major upgrade.

The Noguchi Museum announced this week that it will undertake an ambitious expansion, which will include adding a new, 6,000-square-foot building to the campus, as well as restoring and opening Noguchi’s original studio building, which dates back to 1959.

Currently, the museum complex includes 27,000 square feet of gallery space, which is spread out over two floors in an old warehouse, as well as a serene sculpture garden adjacent to that building. The expansion, which is set to begin in 2020, will happen in two parts, according to the New York Times. First, the new structure will be constructed across the street from the gallery building. It will be designed by Büro Koray Duman, and will allow the museum to keep its collection and archives in one centralized location. This phase of the project should be finished by 2021.

Isamu Noguchi’s 10th Street studio (kitchen), Long Island City, c. 1960s.
The Noguchi Museum Archive © The Isamu Noguchi Foundation and Garden Museum, New York / Artists Rights Society (ARS).

The second phase will involve the restoration of Noguchi’s studio, which will be adjacent to the new archive building. Noguchi lived in Long Island City in the decades before his death in 1988, and lived and worked out of a building across from the current museum complex. That will be renovated and reactivated, with his small apartment open to the public for tours, and a studio being used for events. That’s expected to be completed by 2022.

Brett Littman, who was appointed as the museum’s director in 2018, said in a statement that the expansion “will allow us to better reflect on the complex nature of Noguchi’s work and life.”

“With greater—and easier—access to our collection and archive for our curators and researchers and a new programming space in the 10th Street studio, the Museum will be poised to more deeply explore Noguchi’s increasing relevance to and influence on the contemporary world,” the statement continues.

The Noguchi Museum

9-01 33rd Road, Queens, NY 11106 Visit Website