Document Type


Publication Date



In a study that combines archival research, a firm grounding in the historical context, biographical analysis, and sustained attention to specific works of art, Amy Lyford provides an account of Isamu Noguchi's work between 1930 and 1950 and situates him among other artists who found it necessary to negotiate the issues of race and national identity. In particular, Lyford explores Noguchi's sense of his art as a form of social activism and a means of struggling against stereotypes of race, ethnicity, and national identity. Ultimately, the aesthetics and rhetoric of American modernism in this period both energized Noguchi's artistic production and constrained his public reputation.


This article was originally published in Pacific Affairs, volume 87, issue 4, in 2014.

Peer Reviewed



Pacific Affairs/University of British Columbia



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.