June 1999

Isamu Noguchi, Model for Swimming Pool for von Sternberg   Isamu Noguchi
American, 1904-1988
Model for Swimming Pool for von Sternberg  1935

Collection Walker Art Center
Gift of the artist, 1980

In 1935 sculptor Isamu Noguchi designed this swimming pool for film director Josef von Sternberg's home. Just large enough for two people, the pool he imagined would include many ways to be in or near the water. On one side the water could flow down a ramp, while another area would allow visitors to be completely dry and in the sun. A third part of the pool would be deep enough for swimming. Though his pool was never built, this bronze sculpture is an example of the artist's inventive use of shape and function. Noguchi's interest in making sculptures that were also useful objects led him to design playground equipment, parks, and plazas.

© 1999 Walker Art Center

The Artwork of the Month is part of the Walker Art Center's "New Definitions/New Audiences" initiative. This museum-wide project to engage visitors in a reexamination of 20th-century art is made possible by the Lila Wallace-Reader's Digest Fund.