Newsletter

Stay up to date with the latest from MAKERS delivered straight to your inbox. Sign up for new stories from trailblazing women, a big dose of inspiration, and exclusive MAKERS content.

Newsletter Confirmation

Thank you for joining! Please check your inbox for our special welcome letter
with exclusive updates from MAKERS.

MAKERS Moment

A New Idea for Memorials

A New Idea for Memorials

More From Maya

In this video

Tagged as

Lin discusses how her Vietnam Veteran's Memorial design breaks from tradition and attempts to deal with death and sacrifice.

Maya 's Biography

Artistic Crush: Robert Smithson after seeing his Site/Non-Site at the Whitney Museum of American Art.
First Job: Working in the sewing department of a five and dime shop called Murphy's Mart.
An Apple Not Far from the Tree: The daughter of a Dean of Fine Arts and Literature Professor, Lin was a "bookish" child, casting bronzes by age 16.
Environmentalist Roots: She traces her environmentalism to growing up during the fight for the Clean Air and Clean Water Acts and to constantly roaming the woods that surrounded her Athens, Ohio home.

In nearly three decades of practice, Maya Lin has completed large site-specific art installations, intimate studio works, residential and institutional architecture, and, of course, memorials. It’s a varied oeuvre that draws equally on her training as an artist and as an architect. Lin was a Yale undergraduate when she won the blind competition for design of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial on Washington DC’s National Mall. At 21, she became the youngest architect and first woman, to design a memorial on the National Mall. It was a design that flew in the face of all conventions –  a black granite wall, to be set in the earth as a gash, inscribed the names of all those lost. The selection sparked bitter opposition from veterans' groups, but once constructed, the objections faded. It was a new kind of tribute, born of a new sensibility, and is now seen as a benchmark in memorial architecture.
 
Lin’s subsequent work has grappled with identity, spirit and the natural world. In 2009 she installed Storm King Wavefield, a permanent site-specific outdoor work for the Storm King Art Center in Mountainville, NY. A committed environmentalist, she is at work on her last memorial, What is Missing? a multi-sited artwork that raises awareness about the current crisis surrounding biodiversity and habitat loss.

Related Videos

Ileana Ros-Lehtinen
Ileana Ros-Lehtinen
First Latina Elected to Congress

Ileana Ros-Lehtinen fled Castro’s Cuba with her family when she was eight. She was educated in Miami’s Little Havana and earned her Bachelor’s degree in 1975, bef...

Majora Carter
Majora Carter
Community Developer

Majora Carter became passionate about community development while completing her MFA at New York University, advocating for the development of Hunts Point Riverside Park, the South...

Julie Chu
Julie Chu
Olympic Hockey Player

Julie Chu is an Olympic hockey player who plays forward on the U.S. women's ice hockey team. She has played in three Olympic cycles helping Team USA win two silver medals and a...

Eileen Collins
Eileen Collins
NASA's First Woman Commander

Eileen Collins was born in Elmira, New York in a lower-middle class family. Eileen’s love of science came early, in the halls of her hometown library. After receiving her...