Martha Graham, Isamu Noguchi

Isamu Noguchi (American, 1904–1988)

Martha Graham, 1929


Gift of Anna Rice Cooke, 1933 (3763)

A pivotal figure in the development of modern sculpture, Isamu Noguchi also specialized in furniture, garden, and stage design. Beginning in 1935, he worked on twenty-one stage sets for the American choreographer and dancer Martha Graham. In 1929, he created Graham's portrait, stunning her with his uncanny evocation of her powerful creative intensity: "The head he had done of me—I did not like it then (when it was created) and I do not like it now. It had shown a side of my face, my left side, which changes only when I work. Isamu had seen this and caught it.  He had seen too deeply this time, even for me."