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Ceiling for Magic Chef Building

St. Louis, United States of America
1 of 5
Isamu Noguchi's illuminated ceiling

As the American Stove Company's ultimate goal was to find a place in the household of each American family, they too wanted to create an inviting environment within their headquarters.

Upon entering the lobby, visitors were greeted with Noguchi's illuminated ceiling design, which not only shed welcoming light within the entry foyer but also provided subtle signage, guiding visitors from the lobby into the Magic Chef showroom and up the stairs to the sales offices on the mezzanine.

According to the St. Louis Art Museum, Noguchi wanted visitors to the lobby to "feel better, feel happier to be there." In regards to his "lunar landscapes," Noguchi once stated, as quoted in Hayden Herrera's Listening to Stone: The Art and Life of Isamu Noguchi, that his idea "was to create a completely artificial environment inside, the interstices from which light would emanate, so that one would, in a sense, be inside a sculpture." The otherworldly topography may also have been inspired by his voluntary internment, as a politically active Japanese-American, in Arizona during World War II. He described his "memory of Arizona" as being "like that of the moon, a moonscape of the mind [...] Not given the actual space of freedom, one makes its equivalent - an illusion within the confines of a room or a box."

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thedani, April 12th, 2017
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