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Isamu Noguchi, Swimming Pool for von Sternberg (1935/1980)


Walker Art Center



Institution Walker Art Center
"I had a ramp on one side down which water could flow, and von Sternberg could lie there with water running underneath him. Then, when he was sufficiently cooled off, he could lie in another area and be completely dry and warm. Then he could swim around. The whole thing would be luminous, with lights coming from the steps. It was a comfortable sort of pool for one man--just one man, and maybe a friend."--Isamu Noguchi

Isamu Noguchi designed this pool in 1935 as part of a project by Los Angeles architect Richard Neutra for film director Josef von Sternberg's home. It reflects Noguchi's broad conception of sculpture as functional object, a belief that led him to devote a significant portion of his career to the designing of public parks, playgrounds, and plazas. The pool design is related to several of his playground proposals from the 1930s, but unfortunately was never realized due to a change in Neutra's plans.

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Type: Commentary, object label
Source: Label text for Isamu Noguchi, Swimming Pool for von Sternberg (1935/1980), from the exhibition Selections from the Permanent Collection, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, December 8, 1996 to April 4, 1999.
Rights: Copyright 1998 Walker Art Center
Added to Site: March 1, 2009