Symposium - Looking Up: The Skyviewing Sculptures of Isamu Noguchi

a group of people in chairs with notes on laps, listening intently to a speaker

Schedule to be announced

Date and Time

Fri Oct 21, 2022 through Sat Oct 22, 2022

The two-day symposium brings together scholars of modern and contemporary art to explore the importance of skyviewing in Noguchi’s oeuvre, and the convergence of his interest in outer space with ancient culture and contemporary art. Skyviewing was an important theme in Noguchi’s work throughout his long artistic career, but this is the first time that the widely divergent forms the theme took are explored in depth. The speakers will address Noguchi’s art from different angles and participate in discussions with both academic and general audience.

The symposium is organized in conjunction with an exhibition with the same name at the Western Gallery (Jul 26-Nov 26, 2022), curated by Dakin Hart, the Senior Curator of the Noguchi Museum in New York, and a publication by D Giles Ltd. of a richly illustrated 128-page hardcover book on the topic.

The exhibition, symposium and book are made possible through a generous grant from the Henry Luce Foundation’s American Art Program.


John T. Carpenter in a suit and tie with short hair

John T. Carpenter

John T. Carpenter is the Mary Griggs Burke Curator of Japanese Art at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.  From 1999 to 2011, he taught the history of Japanese art at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London, and served as head of the London office of the Sainsbury Institute for the Study of Japanese Arts and Cultures. He has published widely on Japanese art, especially in the areas of calligraphy, painting, and woodblock prints, and has helped organize numerous exhibitions at the Museum, including Brush Writing in the Arts of Japan (2013–14); Celebrating the Arts of Japan (2015–17), The Poetry of Nature (2018–2019), and The Tale of Genji: A Japanese Classic Illuminated (2019).

Dakin Hart in collared shirt, sweater and jacket, with short hair and stubble

Dakin Hart

Dakin Hart is the Senior Curator of The Isamu Noguchi Foundation and Garden Museum in New York, where he oversees the Museum’s exhibitions, collections, catalogue raisonné, archives, and public programming. He has written extensively on Noguchi and contemporary sculpture. Hart is the curator of Looking Up: The Skyviewing Sculptures of Isamu Noguchi at the Western Gallery (2022). Other recent exhibitions include Noguchi Subscapes (2022-2023), Self-Interned, 1942: Noguchi in Poston War Relocation Center, and Isamu Noguchi, Archaic/Modern at the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington, D.C. (2016-2017).

Hiromi Matsugi

Hiromi Matsugi is Assistant Professor at the International Research Center for Japanese Studies in Kyoto, Japan. Dr. Matsugi’s research concentrates on the history and current state of Japanese gardens created abroad, mainly on in France and the United States, as well as their relationship with other forms of art such as sculpture and architecture. Dr. Matsugi 2021 book on Noghuchi’s public projects, Isamu Noguchi No Kuukan Geijiyutsu Kiki No Jidai No Dezain, received an award from the Japanese Institute of Landscape Architecture.

Ken Tadashi Oshima with short hair and a big smile

Ken Tadashi Oshima

Ken Tadashi Oshima is Co-Chair of the Japan Studies Program and Professor in the Department of Architecture at the University of Washington, where he teaches in the areas of trans-national architectural history, theory, representation, and design. He has also been a visiting professor at the Harvard Graduate School of Design and taught at Columbia University and the University of British Columbia. Dr. Oshima’s publications include Kiyonori Kikutake: Between Land and Sea, Architecturalized Asia, and International Architecture in Interwar Japan: Constructing Kokusai Kenchiku.


Julia Sapin with short hair and glasses in front of a shelf of books

Julia Sapin

Julia Sapin is Professor of Art History and the Chair, Department of Art and Art History at Western Washington University. Her research focuses on the visual culture of the Meiji period in Japan with a special emphasis on representation of national, regional, and gender identities in textiles, painting, and department-store advertising. Her recent research has focused on the use of photography in Japanese department-store publicity magazines.

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