Isamu Noguchi's mother was an American and his father, the Japanese poet Yone Noguchi. He spent his childhood in Japan (1906-18) where, in 1917, he worked with a cabinet-maker. After his return to the United States, he apprenticed with sculptor Gutzon Borglum in Stamford, Connecticut, from 1919 to 1922. During 1923-25 he studied sculpture at the Leonardo da Vinci School, New York, concurrently attending Columbia University as a premedical student. By 1926, however, he had determined to become an artist. The following year he received a Guggenheim Foundation fellowship and went to Paris, where he became Brancusi's studio assistant. From Brancusi, Noguchi learned respect for craftsmanship and materials. At that time he made his first stone carving. By the end of the decade the artist was working in several materials – stone, wood, sheet metal, and soon added terra cotta.