Noguchi Museum, Toasting the Artist's Birth, Launches Online Catalogue Raisonné

Noguchi. (Courtesy Wikipedia)

The Long Island City-based Isamu Noguchi Foundation and Garden Museum announced today that it will build an online catalogue raisonné for the pioneering 20th-century artist, which will be freely accessible to the public, and released the first set of works in the database, which numbers more than 300 complete works. An additional 1,000 pieces have partial entries.

Catalogues raisonnés, which aim to collect all of an artist’s works, are used by dealers, collector, auction house specialists and other professionals to verify the authenticity of pieces, and provide a picture of an artist’s oeuvre. An online catalogue allows researchers to add and correct entries without have to reprint books or publish supplements, and release information as research progresses.

Gallerist took a look at website this morning, and it is quite a pleasure. One can browse works throughout Noguchi’s career, examining many with fairly large scale photos. Click the year a work was made, and one is taken to a chronology of the sculptor’s life, letting us know what he was up to in that year, and what other works he was working on at the time.

After clicking on a haunting terracotta sculpture of Jesus Christ, for instance, we clicked the year it was made, 1924, and learned that in that year Noguchi began studying with the sculptor Onorio Ruotolo, and quit his premedical studies at Columbia to focus on art, taking a studio at 127 University Place, in Manhattan, right next to where a Jamba Juice is now located.

The museum said that new “chapters” of the catalogue will be added each Nov. 17–the artist’s birthday–through 2018.

Noguchi Museum, Toasting the Artist's Birth, Launches Online Catalogue Raisonné