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My Uncle

Isamu Noguchi

American Art

On View: American Identities: A New Look, Modern Life, 5th Floor

Even as we study the lifelike surface of this head, 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.

MEDIUM Terracotta, plaster
DATES 1931
DIMENSIONS Height: 12 1/4 in. (31.1 cm)  (show scale)
SIGNATURE Incised at back of neck, proper left: "1931 / ISAMU"
MUSEUM LOCATION This item is on view in American Identities: A New Look, Modern Life, 5th Floor
CREDIT LINE Dick S. Ramsay Fund
RIGHTS STATEMENT © artist or artist's estate
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CAPTION Isamu Noguchi (American, 1904-1988). My Uncle, 1931. Terracotta, plaster, Height: 12 1/4 in. (31.1 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Dick S. Ramsay Fund, 42.339. © artist or artist's estate
IMAGE front, 42.339_view3_acetate_bw.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.
CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION 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. Condition: Good.
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