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The son of an American writer and a Japanese poet, Isamu Noguchi was born in Los Angeles in 1904. He spent his childhood in Japan and his adolescence in America. Noguchi's fascination with art began while he was a pre-med student at Columbia University. A Guggenheim Fellowship took him to Paris, where he worked in Brancusi's atelier.
Noguchi's interests were as wide-ranging as his travels. He designed visionary sets and costumes for the Martha Graham Dance Company and New York City Ballet, furniture and objects for a variety of manufacturers, the Akari lamps and myriad environments, site installations and large-scale public sculptures of great note. The Noguchi Garden Museum in Long Island City is a repository of his work.