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Maya Lin Creates Sculpture for Nelson-Atkins Museum

Artist, sculptor and architectural designer Maya Lin was commissioned by The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art to create a work of art inspired by the twisting beauty of the Missouri River that will be installed on Nov. 15. The gracefully winding Silver Missouri was created from recycled silver and will hang in the Bloch Building.

Rivers have always been a strong theme for Lin, who is a committed environmentalist.

Lin designed the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. In 1981, the 21-year-old Lin won a public design competition for the memorial while still an undergrad at Yale University. The granite, V-shaped wall is one of the most popular monuments in the nation’s capital.
Silver Missouri is part of a series Lin began with her 2009 sculpture, Silver River, of the Colorado River. The series makes a statement about water conservation.

Lin chooses a river of importance and searches for as much satellite mapping as she can find; she then studies the river’s intricacies and draws parts of it by hand before creating the sculpture using recycled silver.

For museum information, phone 816.751.1ART (1278) or visit