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Maya Ying Lin

Maya Ying Lin
Usage Conditions Apply
Michael Katakis, born 1952
Maya Ying Lin, born 1959
Gelatin silver print
Image: 22.2 x 33.3cm (8 3/4 x 13 1/8")
Sheet: 27.6 x 35.5cm (10 7/8 x 14")
Mat: 40.6 x 55.9cm (16 x 22")
Credit Line
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; gift of Michael Katakis in memory of his father, George E. Katakis
Restrictions & Rights
Usage conditions apply
© Michael Katakis
Object number
Exhibition Label
Born Athens, Ohio
One of the most moving and popular monuments in that city of monuments, Washington, D.C., is the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. Situated just north of the Lincoln Memorial, its V-shaped walls dig into the landscape like a scar, testifying to the way in which the Vietnam War has marked the body politic. Yet the "wall," on which are inscribed the names of more than 50,000 of the dead, is also a place of memory and healing. Astoundingly, the memorial's designer, chosen in 1981 through a blind competition, was a Yale undergraduate named Maya Lin. Lin's abstract design, let alone her youth, caused controversy (as, unfortunately, did her ancestry as a Chinese American), but the memorial was ultimately built, albeit with the addition of a sculpture depicting a representational group of soldiers set to the side. Lin has gone on to have a successful career as an architect who specializes in civic memorials.
Data Source
National Portrait Gallery
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National Portrait Gallery Collection