Maya Lin (American, b.1959) is a sculptor and architect best known for her large-scale environmental installations. While she was still an undergraduate student at Yale University, Lin was selected by the Vietnam Veteran’s Memorial Fund to design a monument in Washington, D.C. As a partially buried granite wall inscribed with the names of those who died or went missing, her Vietnam Veteran’s Memorial(1981) caused some controversy by diverging from the form of the traditional public monument. Her other work explores the connection between architecture and natural landscape: Where the Land Meets the Sea(2008) traces the topography of San Francisco with stainless steel tubing, and Storm King Wavefield (2009) molds 11 acres of land into parallel rows of peaks and valleys. Her work draws from the designs of Japanese gardens and Hopewell Indian earth mounds, as well as earthwork artists of the 1960s and 1970s. She has received awards such as the Presidential Design Award and AIA Honor Award, and holds honorary doctorates from Yale and Harvard Universities. The exhibition Maya Lin: Systematic Landscapes (2009) at the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. is the first to bring Lin’s architectural work inside the gallery space. She is currently represented by PaceWildenstein Gallery in New York, where she has worked since 1986.

Timeline

1959
Born October 5th in Athens, Ohio
1977–1981
Studied at Yale University, Graduating with an MFA in Architecture
1981–1983
While still an undergraduate, she won a public design competition for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial constructed in Washington, DC
1986
Founded her own studio
1987
Received an honorary doctorate degree from Yale University
2002
Elected Alumni Fellow of the Yale Corporation, the governing body of Yale University
2003
Served on the selection jury of the World Trade Center Site Memorial Competition
2005
Elected to The American Academy of Arts and Letters, as well as the National Women's Hall of Fame in Seneca Falls, New York
2008
Completed a 30-ton sculpture called "2 x 4 Landscape," which is on exhibit at the M.H. de Young Memorial Museum in San Francisco, California

Exhibitions

2009
"Maya Lin: Systematic Landscapes", April 1-July 1, Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, DC
2008–2009
"Maya Lin: Systematic Landscapes", Oct 25 - January 8, De Young Museum, San Francisco, CA
2008
"Maya Lin: Systematic Landscapes", March 30 - June 30, Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego, CA
2007
"Maya Lin: Systematic Landscapes", Sept 7 - Dec 30, Contemporary Art Museum, St. Louis, Missouri
2006
"Maya Lin: Systematic Landscapes", April 22 - Oct 1, Henry Art Gallery, Seattle, WA

Literature

2000
"Boundaries", Maya Lin