September 26, 2007

Copyright Cluster*@&#: Sweet Vintage Noguchi Playground Scans On Flickr

I don't know about you, but all this copyrighted image outrage just wears me out!

noguchi_un_playground.jpg

Let's take a funbreak--and look at these sweet archival images of Isamu Noguchi's various playground designs which archiblogger Andrew Raimist uploaded to flickr. They were probably by Charles Uht, scanned from Ana Maria Torres' 2000 book, Isamu Noguchi: A Study In Space and then reposted on Pruned. So I guess it's up to me to make t-shirts from them.

The images include the plaster maquette for the 1952 United Nations Playground, which was blocked by Noguchi's NYC nemesis, Robert Moses.

[I've seen bits of evidence and heard a few anecdotes, but there's quite an interesting postwar anti-modernist story to be told about Noguchi, Creative Playthings, the Museum of Modern Art, and the Moses who opposed them all. Even my back burners are full at the moment, though. Anyone?

Oh wait, according to the huge sections scanned into Google Books, Susan Gross Solomon's 2005 book, American Playground, seems to tell quite a bit of the story. Turns out Moses's squelching of the UN Playground was the catalyst for MoMA championing the design, which got the model a lot of publicity, including an exhibition at Creative Playthings' Madison Ave. toyshop. Then in 1953, CP approached Noguchi about designing commercial playground equipment for a new spinoff division, Play Sculptures. Who knew?]

Now where were we? Someone had mentioned copyright infringement...

Noguchi Playground Equipment - archival images in raimist's flickr stream [flickr via pruned, thanks dt reader nelson]
Previously: Noguchi slides; Rare Play Sculptures catalogue on eBay

Related: Sweet Juniper on Noguchi playgrounds; The Noguchi Museum's links on Robert Moses

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