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Maya Lin’s Vietnam Veterans Memorial

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Maya Lin’s Vietnam Veterans Memorial. Lin was a 21-year-old senior at Yale in 1981 when her design for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial was selected from over 1,400 submissions in a national competition. Paul Stevenson Oles Perspective drawings, Vietnam Veterans Memorial (June 15, 1981). - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

Text of Maya Lin’s Vietnam Veterans Memorial

  • Maya Lins Vietnam Veterans Memorial

  • Lin was a 21-year-old senior at Yale in 1981 when her design for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial was selected from over 1,400 submissions in a national competition.

  • Paul Stevenson Oles

    Perspective drawings, Vietnam Veterans Memorial (June 15, 1981)

  • Opposition and CriticismA veteran assailed the design as the "black gash of shame." Other detractors criticized it as a "black, flagless pit," while others attacked it as being "unheroic," "death-oriented," and "intentionally not meaningful.James Watt, Secretary of the Interior in the Reagan Administration, refused to issue a building permit for the memorial. Under the threat of losing their memorial, the veterans, their supporters and their opponents met to find a compromise.

  • I see the wall as a kind of ocean, a sea of sacrifice that is overwhelming and nearly incomprehensible in the sweep of names. I place these figures upon the shore of that sea, gazing upon it, standing vigil before it, reflecting the human face of it, the human heart. - Frederick HartThe Three Soldiers

  • "I think psychologically all these pieces are requesting very quietly that you really complete the piece. The piece begins as something for me, but it ends only when a visitor has interacted with it. It is not finished as a finite object; it requires an act of participation. - Maya Lin, 2000

    Completed in 1982 58,256 engraved names on two intersecting black granite walls, deliberately chosen for its reflective quality. (class project for Funerary design)These were some perspective drawings created by an architect/artists paul stevenson oles. Maya asked, shyly, if she could be included in the picture. I agreed, conditionally, if she would be willing to appear on the arm of the illustratorMaya Lin herself was derided for being young, for being of Asian descent, for being a woman and so on. Congressman expressed their disapproval of the design. Neither Richard Nixon, Jimmy Carter or Ronald Reagan attended the ceremonyThe sculpture was intentionally positioned to be distant from the wall so that to lessen the impact, but Hart purposefully positioned the solidiers as if theyd be gazing on the names etched on the memorial. Also a flagpole.The memorial site receives 3 million visitors each year