Wed-Fri, 10am-5pm; Sat-Sun, 11am-6pm; Mon-Tue, closed
N, W at Broadway
$10, $5 seniors and students
American Express, MasterCard, Visa
A museum of such stark elegance doesn't usually sit across the street from a Costco, but The Noguchi Museum manages to rise above its rather inauspicious location, which is a fair walk from the closest subway. Isamu Noguchi—an influential American sculptor (1904-1988) who, among other things, designed sets for Martha Graham—converted a triangular former factory into this tranquil two-story showcase for many of his works. A three-year renovation, completed in 2004, helped to establish this small museum as one of the most pleasant sanctuaries in the city. Solid, abstract granite and basalt sculptures stand in white-walled indoor galleries, an inviting outdoor garden, and a cavernous concrete room partly open to the sky. The setting perfectly complements the artwork, which makes for a meditative experience far removed from the hectic atmosphere of Manhattan, not to mention the hectic atmosphere of that super-sized store across the street. But Noguchi may have one thing in common with mass retailers like the neighboring Costco: He's the creator of the Akari light sculptures, paper and bamboo lanterns that have been copied by Ikea.Tours
Free guided public tours are offered Wednesday through Sunday at 2 p.m. Private tours for adult groups with a minimum of 10 people are $12 per person, $10 for seniors and college students and free for groups with special needs. Tours led in Japanese and Spanish are also available. School visits are free for public schools and require a reservation at least one month in advance. A hands-on workshop following the tour costs $75 for up to 30 students. Call 718-204-7088 for more info.
Two or three Saturdays a month, the museum offers programs for parents and their children, such as gallery talks and hands-on workshops. The fee is $5 per family and includes admission to the museum. For reservations or more information call 718-204-7088 x205.