Exhibit explores Japanese American artist contributions to Fort Worth

Published on May 03, 2021

an old black white photo

One of Fort Worth’s signature public art spaces is the centerpiece of the Isamu Noguchi Digital Exhibit from the Fort Worth Public Library. The virtual experience coincides with Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month by celebrating the rich history behind Isamu Noguchi’s Texas Sculpture.

Noguchi, a world-renown Japanese American artist and landscape architect, designed and installed a garden outside the First National Bank of Fort Worth in 1959-61. Part of the garden, which featured large Japanese granite pieces and green schist-quartz rocks, remains at 500 W. Seventh St.

Noguchi had other pieces in the area, including Constellation on the Kimbell Art Museum’s south lawn. Texas Sculpture remains unique for tying Japanese culture with the American Southwest.

“Public art not only beautifies a location, but it can also connect people to their surroundings,” said Jennifer Brancato, senior librarian–archivist. “I hope learning more about why and how this piece of art came to be will help people understand the rich history their city holds.”

People will recognize the elements of the sculpture that remain, but many will be surprised to see the sculpture in its original form. The virtual exhibit is a step back to 1961 by focusing on the creation of Noguchi’s art through photographs, documents and video. Being online allows more people greater access to experience the history of the sculpture.

The Library is committed to honoring different cultures in a safe space and celebrating the arts in all forms. The Noguchi Exhibit speaks to anyone interested in art, local history and landscape architecture, as well as the vast contributions of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.

“The City of Fort Worth has a strong AAPI community that is underrepresented in our city’s story, history and archives,” Brancato said. “The staff of the Genealogy, Local History and Archives unit at the Library strives to collect, preserve and make accessible the whole history of our city.”

More info on the Noguchi Exhibit is available on Library pages.

To learn how to contribute to the Library’s archives, email the staff or call 817-392-7717.

 

 

Photo: Noguchi designed and installed a garden outside the First National Bank of Fort Worth in 1959-61. Part of the garden remains at 500 W. Seventh St.

 

 

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