The Easel

22nd November 2022

Maya Lin’s Vietnam memorial blazed a path in 1982, but no one followed

Washington’s Vietnam Veterans Memorial is “the most consequential monument of the 20th century”. Initially crticised by some as a “wall of shame”, its radical character is, forty years on, more easily seen. Lin wanted the memorial to be experienced as art – “open ended, ambiguous” – rather than a “curated sentimental experience”. Although now widely copied, no similar work “forces the visitor into the emotional space and isolated contemplation” of this memorial. An interview with Lin is here.