Vietnam Veterans Memorial, Competition Drawing


The Vietnam Veterans Memorial, originally designed as a student project by Maya Lin for her degree at Yale University Architectural School, has become a profound national symbol and a seminal piece of American monumental architecture. Undertaken to heal a nation torn apart by the controversial war, the competition attracted proposals from thousands of veterans and architects. Lin envisioned a black granite wall, in the shape of a V, on which the names of the American military dead and missing would be inscribed. The architect hoped that "these names, seemingly infinite in number, [would] convey the sense of overwhelming numbers, while unifying these individuals into a whole." Since its dedication in 1982, the work--popularly known as "The Wall"--has become a point of reference for all American memorials. Maya Lin's drawing is included in the archive of the competition that was presented to the Library of Congress by the Vietnam Veteran's Memorial Committee.

Last updated: July 22, 2013