The surface of this head is lifelike, but its expression may lead us to contemplate the psychic life at play behind the closed eyes. The sculptor Isamu Noguchi modeled this likeness of his uncle Takagi, a Buddhist priest, in gratitude for his hospitality during the artist’s visit to Tokyo in 1931. One of three casts from the original clay sculpture, the head suggests the “closed-eye vision” achieved through meditation.
16 1/2 × 9 × 8 in. (41.9 × 22.9 × 20.3 cm) (show scale)
Incised at back of neck, proper left: "1931 / ISAMU"
Dick S. Ramsay Fund
Head of man facing frontally with eyes closed, loosely modeled surface. Molding seams are visible and there is plaster trapped in many of the recesses, presumably from the orignal mold.
This item is not on view
Isamu Noguchi (American, 1904-1988). My Uncle, 1931. Terracotta, plaster, 16 1/2 × 9 × 8 in. (41.9 × 22.9 × 20.3 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Dick S. Ramsay Fund, 42.339. © artist or artist's estate (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 42.339_front_SL1.jpg)
overall, 42.339_front_SL1.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
"CUR" at the beginning of an image file name means that the image was created by a curatorial staff member. These study images may be digital point-and-shoot photographs, when we don\'t yet have high-quality studio photography, or they may be scans of older negatives, slides, or photographic prints, providing historical documentation of the object.
© artist or artist's estate
Copyright for this work may be controlled by the artist, the artist's estate, or other rights holders. A more detailed analysis of its rights history may, however, place it in the public domain.
The Museum does not warrant that the use of this work will not infringe on the rights of third parties. It is your responsibility to determine and satisfy copyright or other use restrictions before copying, transmitting, or making other use of protected items beyond that allowed by "fair use," as such term is understood under the United States Copyright Act.
For further information about copyright, we recommend resources at the United States Library of Congress
, Cornell University
, Copyright and Cultural Institutions: Guidelines for U.S. Libraries, Archives, and Museums
, and Copyright Watch
For more information about the Museum's rights project, including how rights types are assigned, please see our blog posts on copyright
If you have any information regarding this work and rights to it, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Not every record you will find here is complete. More information is available for some works than for others, and some entries have been updated more recently. Records are frequently reviewed and revised, and we welcome
any additional information you might have.