You know your classics: the Met, the MoMA, the Guggenheim. You might even pride yourself on knowing the Frick Collection and already having visited the new Met Breuer annex. But did you know that New York counts more than a hundred museums, most of which you’ve never heard of? We scoured all of New York’s cultural scene to unearth one of its sleeping beauties for you. Like most jaded New Yorkers, we’ve grown weary of spending more time queuing for the exhibition than in the exhibition itself or being stuck between a Picasso and the cacophony of audio guides in 10 different foreign languages playing at maximum volume. Result: we found ourselves in Astoria at Isamu Noguchi.
Even if his name doesn’t ring a bell, you most definitely know some of his work. The Japanese-American artist is best known to the general public for his famous coffee table designed for Herman Miller or his Akari lamps made of handmade washi paper which invaded every interior design store across the globe (yes it’s the Ikea lamp in your living room!). Isamu Noguchi is known for designing iconic furniture, but he is above all a major sculptor and a talented architect.
Opened in 1985, the Noguchi Museum is housed in a converted industrial building and exhibits an unparalleled collection of Noguchi’s sculptures and design. The work of a lifetime. Translucent marble, gleaming bronze, mirrored steel, smooth wood: the Brancusi disciple combines the simplicity of forms and the purity of material. Enjoy the serenity of this spacious museum and its refined garden. It is an oasis of tranquility and a great way to discover Noguchi’s prolific work. We promise here you won’t be disturbed by hordes of noisy tourists.
Feeling hungry? If you decide to explore the neighborhood after your visit, we recommend the coffee shop Queen’s Kickshaw for a light bite or the steakhouse M. Wells for dinner. Two of our favorite discoveries in Astoria.
The Noguchi museum
9-01 33rd Rd, Astoria
The Queens Kickshaw
40-17 Broadway, Astoria
M. Wells Steakhouse
43-15 Crescent St, Long Island City