Dec. 11, 2023 By Bill Parry
Following an international search for a new leader, the Board of Trustees of The Isamu Noguchi Foundation and Garden Museum announced on Dec. 8 the appointment of Astoria native Amy Hau as its next director. Hau has a long history with the Long Island City cultural institution, having begun her career as Isamu Noguchi’s assistant in 1986 and helped steward the legacy of the artist’s estate and foundation into a world-renowned museum. Hau continued her engagement with the Noguchi Museum for nearly three decades, working in various roles until 2015.
“We are thrilled to welcome Amy Hau back to the Noguchi Museum to serve as our next director,” said Susan Kessler, Board Co-Chair who served on the search committee. “While we met many talented candidates during our rigorous and expansive search, Amy’s resume was unique. Her experience coupled with her first-hand knowledge of the Museum and its history and her deep connections to Queens, made her the top choice.”
Hau moved from Hong Kong to Astoria with her family as a young child and she has lived in Queens for most of her life and continues to play an important role in her community. She has served on Community Board 1 since 2014 and as First Vice Chair since last year. She is also a board member at Socrates Sculpture Park across Vernon Boulevard from Noguchi, and she was a founding member of the Long Island City Cultural Alliance.
“As a young woman who began my career in Isamu Noguchi’s studio, it is the greatest honor to be chosen to become the next director of his museum,” Hau said. “The exposure and experience I received from my work with Isamu, and later his foundation and museum, forever shaped my professional journey.”
When she takes over as the Museum’s next director on Jan. 8, Hau will lead the institution into a new era by completing its capital campaign and fully developing the Museum campus, celebrating the institution’s 40th anniversary in 2025 and developing and implementing a new strategic vision. During her previous tenure at Noguchi, Hau played a significant role in increasing the Museum’s capacity, expanding its outreach and programs, overseeing its multi-phase $23 million capital projects for the restoration and renovation of the Museum building and garden, and helping spearhead the master plan for an expansion campus. She most recently served as the Director of Administration and External Affairs, working closely with the director and trustees on the implementation of a strategic plan, development of a new master facilities plan, and the reorganization of its sister museum in Japan.
“I look forward to putting my education to good use while working with the Museum’s dedicated Board of Trustees and wonderfully talented staff, as we continue to advance the Museum’s mission, bring forward the creative thinking of artists, strengthen its role as a resource for the people of Queens and beyond, and most of all, honor Isamu’s legacy,” Hau said.
During her first three decades at the Museum, Hau oversaw all of its administrative, marketing, and human relations functions, and liaised with New York City agencies and local civic partners. Her previous roles at the Museum included Administrative Director, Assistant to the Executive Director, and Assistant to Isamu Noguchi.
“Amy represents not only the profound legacy of the Museum, but also embodies its dynamic, polyvocal future,” said Spencer Bailey, Board Co-Chair who served on the search committee. “She is an accomplished leader whose experience, management skills, and drive make her exactly the right person for the job. She has a vast knowledge of Noguchi’s life and work, and deeply understands the importance of collaboration and of creating a shared vision. As we move into our next chapter, we are confident that Amy will help the Museum make long-lasting impacts near and far.”
The Noguchi Museum is located at 9-01 33rd Rd. (at Vernon Boulevard) in Long Island City and is open Wednesday through Sunday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.