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Design Icon: Isamu Noguchi

One of the most idiosyncratic artists of the 20th century, Japanese-American designer and sculptor Isamu Noguchi fashioned a future of organic shapes and clean lines, an elegant fusion of trends and traditions. A restless thinker, world traveler and collaborator, Noguchi’s eclectic career covered so much ground, just a fragment—set design with dance icon Martha Graham or his public artworks and sculptures—would make for a distinguished career. Here we examine some of his iconic furniture and interior designs.

Zenith Night Nurse (1937)

An early Noguchi side-project encased in then cutting-edge Bakelite, the biomorphic Night Nurse was ostensibly the first baby monitor. Supposedly, the Lindbergh kidnapping inspired Zenith President Eugene F. McDonald Jr. to greenlight development of a listening device for caregivers. The side reads “Designed by Noguchi.” Photo courtesy: Collections of The Henry Ford

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