Loan Object
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Artist: Maya Lin, American, born 1959, B.A. 1981, M.Arch. 1986

One of four studies for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial

1980

Pastel

sheet: 59.7 × 45.1 cm (23 1/2 × 17 3/4 in.)
framed: 63.5 × 78.4 × 3.2 cm (25 × 30 7/8 × 1 1/4 in.)
Promised gift of Maya Lin, B.A. 1981, M.Arch. 1986, in honor of Jock Reynolds, the Henry J. Heinz II Director, 1998–2018, and Vincent J. Scully, Jr., B.A. 1940, M.A. 1947, Ph.D. 1949
ILE2003.1.1

The soft, impressionistic style of her pastel drawings earned Maya Lin the nickname “the Monet of the Architecture School” among her classmates at Yale College. As a senior, Lin created the studies for her winning submission to a national competition to design a memorial dedicated to veterans of the Vietnam War on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. The drawings convey the strength and simplicity of her proposal for a V-shaped wall cut into the landscape and made of polished black granite inscribed with the names of individuals killed or missing in service. Though met with vociferous opposition that targeted her youth, gender, and race as an Asian American, Lin steered her vision to reality. Completed in 1982, the memorial is a powerful site for honoring and mourning those lost.

Geography: 
Made in United States
Status: 
Not on view
Culture: 
American
Period: 
20th century
Classification: 
Works on Paper - Drawings and Watercolors
Provenance: 

The artist's collection

Bibliography: 

Lisa Hodermarsky et al., On the Basis of Art: 150 Years of Women at Yale, exh. cat. (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Art Gallery, 2021), 156–57, 190–91, no. 31, fig. 1.

Note: This electronic record was created from historic documentation that does not necessarily reflect the Yale University Art Gallery’s complete or current knowledge about the object. Review and updating of such records is ongoing.