Where We Are
Audio Guide Playlist
Mark Joshua Epstein: This is a sculpture by the artist Isamu Noguchi that’s called Humpty Dumpty.
Student 1: With the name Humpty Dumpty, it kind of looks like it is pieces, it used to be something flat and whole.
Mark Joshua Epstein: Isamu Noguchi was half Japanese. He had one parent who was Japanese and he lived in Japan until he was about thirteen years old. This sculpture was made just after World War II, which ended because parts of Japan were bombed. I'm wondering if anything thinks that, Humpty Dumpty, the title, has anything to do with this bombing of Japan?
Student 1: Well, I see maybe the artist, he was looking after World War II at the rubble of Japan and the people who had died in the bombing, and he saw that maybe their lives had kind of shattered metaphorically. I think that it is kind of like war, because even after a war might end, it leaves its mark.
Student 2: Well, I feel like it’s sort of a piece of paper when you crumple it up and then you uncrumple it, it’s wrinkled; you can't make it the same.
Isamu Noguchi, Humpty Dumpty, 1946. Ribbon slate, 59 × 20 3/4 × 17 1/2in. (149.9 × 52.7 × 44.5 cm). Whitney Museum of American Art; purchase 47.7a-e © 2017 The Isamu Noguchi Foundation and Garden Museum, New York / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
- 700 Where We Are, Introduction
- 701 Jacob Lawrence, War Series, 1946-47
- 702 Georgia O'Keeffe, Music, Pink and Blue No. 2, 1918
- 711 Jay DeFeo, The Eyes, 1958
- 714 Clyfford Still, Untitled, 1956
- 720 Roy Lichtenstein, Bathroom, 1961
- 722 Edward Hopper, New York Interior, c. 1921
- 733 Kids audio guide for Charles Henry Alston, The Family, 1955
- 734 Louise Bourgeois, Quarantania, 1941
- 741 Kids audio guide for Elsie Driggs, Pittsburgh, 1927
- 742 Elizabeth Catlett, The Black Woman, 1946-47, printed 1989
- 750 Jasper Johns, Three Flags, 1958
- 751 Isamu Noguchi, Humpty Dumpty, 1946
- 752 Edward Hopper, Early Sunday Morning, 1930