The Isamu Noguchi Foundation and Garden Museum board of trustees announced last week that Amy Hau will be the historic Queens institution’s next director. Hau was selected by an international search to replace Brett Littman, who served as Noguchi’s director since 2018. She will step down from her present role as managing principal at WXY Architecture and Urban Design where she’s worked since 2015.
The announcement marks a full circle for Hau. Prior to her tenure at WXY, Hau began her career as artist Isamu Noguchi’s assistant in 1986. From there, she played a pivotal role in helping steward Noguchi’s estate and foundation into a world-renowned museum. She maintained her engagement with the Noguchi Museum between 1986 and 2015. For The New York Times, Hau described her relationship with Noguchi, saying “I found him to be quite grandfatherly and a bit of a mentor.”
Representatives from the Noguchi Museum recognize Hau for her deep roots in Queens. As a young child, Hau moved from Hong Kong to Astoria. After completing her MBA, Hau joined Community Board 1, Queens. In 2022, she became Community Board 1’s first vice chair. Hau is also a board member at Socrates Sculpture Park, the Asian American Arts Alliance, and ARTtable. She is also a founding member of the Long Island City Cultural Alliance.
As Noguchi Museum’s next director, one of Hau’s main tasks will be leading the institution into a new era by completing its capital campaign and fully developing the Long Island City campus to celebrate the institution’s fortieth anniversary in 2025. She will also oversee and implement a new strategic vision for the Noguchi Museum, a press release stated.
“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. I look forward to putting this 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’s position formally begins on January 8, 2024.