Skip to main content
  • Want more images or videos?
    Request additional images or videos from the seller
1 of 5

Akari Light by Isamu Noguchi

$3,800Asking Price

About

A hanging round Akari lighting sculpture and lantern, handcrafted from washi paper and bamboo ribbing. Designed by Isamu Noguchi in 1951 and manufactured in Gifu, Japan. Measures: 39".

Details

  • Creator
    Isamu Noguchi (Designer)
  • Design
  • Dimensions
    Height: 39 in. (99.06 cm)Width: 39 in. (99.06 cm)Depth: 39 in. (99.06 cm)
  • Style
    Mid-Century Modern (In the Style Of)
  • Materials and Techniques
  • Place of Origin
  • Period
  • Date of Manufacture
    1950s
  • Condition
    Wear consistent with age and use.
  • Seller Location
    Sagaponack, NY
  • Reference Number
    Seller: 8158.0011stDibs: LU890316959322

Shipping & Returns

  • Shipping
    Rates vary by destination and complexity.
    Ships From: Sagaponack, NY
  • Return Policy

    A return for this item may be initiated within 3 days of delivery.

1stDibs Buyer Protection Guaranteed
If your item arrives not as described, we’ll work with you and the seller to make it right. Learn more

About the Design

Akari Light Sculpture

Designed by Isamu Noguchi
It was a trip to Japan in the spring of 1951 that inspired artist and designer Isamu Noguchi (1904–88) to create the Akari light sculpture. Noguchi was passing through the city of Gifu, in central Japan, and observed a traditional nighttime festival in which fishermen use cormorants to help them catch fish. Each boat was equipped with a chochin lantern to light its way. Noguchi was enraptured with the beauty of these lamps, which were made locally from mulberry bark and bamboo. The artist met with Gifu’s mayor, who explained that he was seeking a way to reinvigorate his city’s lantern industry. Aiming to bring the chochin’s traditional design into the 20th century, Noguchi made multiple prototypes with an incandescent bulb in place of a candle. He named the updated lantern Akari, which means both illumination and lightness in Japanese. Noguchi debuted his Akari light sculpture at an exhibition of his work at the Museum of Modern Art in Kamakura in 1952. It caught on immediately, not only as a piece of art but also as a functional design. Since 1951, Noguchi’s Akari lanterns have been handcrafted in Gifu. Fabricators stretch bamboo ribbing across molded wood forms, then glue washi paper — made from the bark of the mulberry tree — to the inside and outside of the resulting frame. Once the glue dries, the shape is set, and the internal wood form can be disassembled and removed. The lanterns are collapsible, a traditional feature that Noguchi insisted on keeping. They can thus be shipped flat around the world in shallow boxes or slender envelopes, and then easily unpacked and installed. This feature contributes to the sculpture’s practicality. As Noguchi was fond of saying, “All you require to start a home are a room, a tatami and Akari."
About the Seller
4.8 / 5
Located in Sagaponack, NY

WYETH celebrates the fine, the unusual and the extraordinary in its well-curated selection of furniture, lighting, art and objects. Its offerings range from museum-quality pieces, by masters like Hans J. Wegner and Edward Wormley, to anonymous industrial objects of great merit, along with the exclusive WYETH line of furnishings, comple...

Recognized Seller
These prestigious sellers are industry leaders and represent the highest echelon for item quality and design.
Diamond Seller
These expertly vetted sellers are 1stDibs' most experienced sellers and are rated highest by our customers.
Established in 1995
1stDibs seller since 2010
324 sales on 1stDibs
Typical response time: 3 hours
Associations
20th Century Specialists
More From This Seller

You May Also Like

Pendant by Isamu Noguchi for Akari
By Isamu Noguchi, Akari
Located in Los Angeles, CA
Pendant by Isamu Noguchi for Akari. Manufactured in Japan in 1955. Dead stock, no longer in production. Paper, iron brass. Early sun/moon stamp. Custom brass ceiling plate. Takes one...
Category

Vintage 1950s Japanese Mid-Century Modern Chandeliers and Pendants

Materials

Brass, Iron

Isamu Noguchi Akari Ceiling Lamp 36N
By Isamu Noguchi
Located in Barcelona, Barcelona
Pendant lamp model 36N designed by Isamu Noguchi. Manufactured by Ozeki & Company Ltd. (Japan.) Bamboo ribbing structure covered by washi paper manufactured according to the tradi...
Category

1990s Japanese Mid-Century Modern Chandeliers and Pendants

Materials

Metal

Isamu Noguchi Akari Ceiling Lamp 36N
$6,451 Sale Price
20% Off
Isamu Noguchi Akari Ceiling Lamp 70EN Model
By Isamu Noguchi
Located in Barcelona, Barcelona
Pendant lamp model 70EN designed by Isamu Noguchi. Manufactured by Ozeki & Company Ltd. (Japan.) Bamboo ribbing structure covered by washi paper manufactured according to the tradi...
Category

1990s Japanese Mid-Century Modern Chandeliers and Pendants

Materials

Metal

Akari Model 3A Light Sculpture by Isamu Noguchi
By Isamu Noguchi, Akari
Located in Glendale, CA
Akari model 3A light sculpture by Isamu Noguchii. The shade is made from handmade washi paper, wood and bamboo ribs with authentic Noguchi Akari manufacturer's stamp. Akari light scu...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Japanese Mid-Century Modern Table Lamps

Materials

Metal

Akari Model 2A Light Sculpture by Isamu Noguchi
By Isamu Noguchi, Akari
Located in Glendale, CA
Akari model 2A light sculpture by Isamu Noguchii. The shade is made from handmade washi paper, wood and bamboo ribs with authentic Noguchi Akari manufacturer's stamp. Akari light scu...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Japanese Mid-Century Modern Table Lamps

Materials

Metal

Akari Model 20n Light Sculpture by Isamu Noguchi
By Isamu Noguchi, Akari
Located in Glendale, CA
Akari Model 20N light sculpture by Isamu Noguchi. The shade is made from handmade washi paper and bamboo ribs with Noguchi Akari manufacturer's stamp. Akari light sculptures by Isamu...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Japanese Mid-Century Modern Table Lamps

Materials

Metal

Akari Model 24N Light Sculpture by Isamu Noguchi
By Isamu Noguchi, Akari, Ozeki & Co. Ltd. 1
Located in Glendale, CA
Akari model 24N light sculpture by Isamu Noguchi. The shade is made from handmade washi paper and bamboo ribs with Noguchi Akari manufacturer's stamp. Akari light sculptures by Isamu...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Japanese Mid-Century Modern Table Lamps

Materials

Metal

Early and Rare 19A Akari Pendant by Isamu Noguchi, 1950s
By Isamu Noguchi, Ozeki & Co. Ltd. 1
Located in Echt, NL
Early 19A Akari lamp in good condition. Designed by Isamu Noguchi in 1951 Produced by Ozeki & Co., Ltd. Model 19A was the first globe-shaped light in the Akari series, identifiabl...
Category

20th Century Japanese Mid-Century Modern Chandeliers and Pendants

Materials

Metal

The 1stDibs Promise

Learn More

Expertly Vetted Sellers

Confidence at Checkout

Price-Match Guarantee

Exceptional Support

Buyer Protection

Insured Global Delivery