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Isamu Noguchi, Early "Rudder" Table, Birch, Steel, Herman Miller, 1950s



An early "Rudder" table by Isamu Noguchi. In birch and zinc-plated steel. Designed in 1949. With an asymmetrical form—balanced on two hairpin legs and a third, rudder-like fin—the Rudder table is one of several iconic designs created for Herman Miller by Japanese-American artist and designer Isamu Noguchi starting in 1947.


  • Creator
    Herman Miller (Manufacturer),Isamu Noguchi (Designer)
  • Dimensions
    Height: 26.26 in. (66.7 cm)Width: 50.01 in. (127 cm)Depth: 35.44 in. (90 cm)
  • Style
    Mid-Century Modern (Of the Period)
  • Materials and Techniques
  • Place of Origin
    United States
  • Period
  • Date of Manufacture
    circa 1950
  • Condition
    Wear consistent with age and use. In very good condition. Possibly refinished at some point in time.
  • Seller Location
    West Palm Beach, FL
  • Reference Number
    1stDibs: LU3228121856092

Shipping & Returns

  • Shipping
    Rates vary by destination and complexity. We recommend this shipping type based on item size, type and fragility.
    Ships From: West Palm Beach, FL
  • Return Policy

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

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About the Designer

Isamu Noguchi

Sculptor, painter, ceramicist and furniture and lighting designer, Isamu Noguchi was one of the most prolific and protean creative forces of the 20th century and a key figure in the development of organic modernism. Noguchi’s sculptures and designs share a common spirit: one of lyrical abstraction, tempo and flow and harmonious balance. Noguchi was born in Los Angeles to an American mother and Japanese father, and spent most of his childhood in Japan. He returned to the United States at age 13, went to high school in Indiana and enrolled at Columbia University to study medicine. At the same time, he took night courses in sculpture. Within three months, he left college to pursue art full time. Noguchi was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1927 and traveled to Paris to work under Constantin Brancusi. It marked a turning point. Inspired by Brancusi, Noguchi embraced abstraction and began to sculpt in the expressive, rhythmic style that would be the hallmark of his work. Once back in New York, Noguchi was introduced to design by what would become a lifelong collaboration creating sets for choreographer Martha Graham. His first industrial designs were in Bakelite: a sleek clock-timer created circa 1932, and his famed Zenith Radio Nurse intercom, from 1937. Ten years later, Herman Miller introduced Noguchi’s now-iconic glass-topped coffee table with an articulated wooden base. His washi paper and bamboo Akari Light Sculptures, handmade in Japan, debuted in 1951. In the late 1950s, Noguchi designed for Knoll, creating such pieces as his dynamic Cyclone table and rocking stool. For collectors, Noguchi’s furniture and light designs remain his most accessible work. As you will see on these pages, they have the same power and presence that Noguchi brought to his art.
About the Seller
5 / 5
Located in West Palm Beach, FL
Platinum Seller
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Established in 2017
1stDibs seller since 2017
207 sales on 1stDibs
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