The Garden (Pyramid, Sun, and Cube), 1963
Isamu Noguchi (1904-1988)
Location: Hewitt University Quadrangle (Beinecke Plaza)

Japanese-American sculptor and landscape architect Isamu Noguchi designed this work for the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library in one of several collaborative efforts with architect Gordon Bunshaft. Garden extends the creamy Vermont marble surfaces of the library’s paneled walls into its sunken courtyard. The cold materials of the space inspire not emotion but contemplation, reinforcing a studious atmosphere in the adjacent underground reading room. The mood is that of a Japanese Zen garden, quietly balancing cosmic forces symbolized by the circle (the sun and its energy), the pyramid (the earth and its history), and the poised cube (chance). This synthesis of East and West also unites past and future by suggesting both the marble flagstones of an Italian piazza and the surreal landscape of the moon. Gift of Edwin J. Beinecke, B.A. 1907, Frederick W. Beinecke, Ph.B. 1909, and Walter Beinecke, B.A. 1910, to the Yale University Library, 1963