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Maya Lin's Geni Profile

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Maya Ying Lin

Chinese: 林瓔 (Maya)
Birthplace: Athens, OH, USA
Immediate Family:

Daughter of Henry Huan Lin 林桓 and Julia Chang Lin 張明暉
Wife of <private> Wolf
Mother of <private> Lin and <private> Lin
Sister of <private> Lin

Occupation: Architect, Sculptor
Managed by: Jonathan B Haber
Last Updated:
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Immediate Family

About Maya Lin

Maya Ying Lin is an American designer and artist who is known for her work in sculpture and land art. She achieved national recognition at the age of 21 while still an undergraduate at Yale University when her design was chosen in a national competition for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. It is considered one of the most influential memorials of the post-World War II period. Lin has completed designs for other memorials, as well as for numerous public and private buildings, landscape design, and sculpture. Although Lin’s most well known sculptures and architectural work are historical memorials, she also works to memorialize nature through her environmentally themed works. In creating works which deal with the depleting environment, Lin aims to raise awareness for the environment for audiences in urban spaces.

Personal life

Maya Lin, a Chinese American, was born in Athens, Ohio. Her parents immigrated to the United States from People's Republic of China in 1949 and settled in Ohio in 1958, one year before Maya Lin was born. Her father, Henry Huan Lin, was a ceramist and former dean of the Ohio University College of Fine Arts. She is the niece of Lin Huiyin, who is said to be the first female architect in China. Lin studied at Yale University, where she received a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1981 and a Master of Architecture degree in 1986. She has also been awarded honorary doctorate degrees from Yale University, Harvard University, Williams College, and Smith College. She was among the youngest in Yale University when she received an honorary Doctorate of Fine Arts in 1987. She is married to Daniel Wolf, a New York photography dealer. They have two daughters, India and Rachel. Lin, having grown up as an Asian minority, has said that she "didn't even realize" she was Chinese until later in life, and that it was not until her 30s that she had a desire to understand her cultural background. Commenting on her design of a new home for the Museum of Chinese in America near New York City's Chinatown, Lin attached a personal significance to the project being a Chinese-related project because she wanted her two daughters to "know that part of their heritage."

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Maya Lin's Timeline

October 5, 1959
Athens, OH, USA