Vietnam Memorial Analysis

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The Artistic Controversy of the Vietnam War The Vietnam memorial spiked artistic controversy even before it was built in 1982. Veterans and other Americans were against the memorial, calling it a “black gash of shame”(Carhart, 1981). Conversely, others thought it was a beautiful representation of the Vietnam War. The New York Times wrote “But perhaps that is why the V-shaped, black granite lines merging gently with the sloping earth make the winning design seem a lasting and appropriate image of dignity and sadness”(New York Times, 1981). The memorial was not just a memorial but also a piece of art that commemorated the soldiers lost at war. After the memorial was built arguments against the memorial were prevalent among political and artistic…show more content…
Those included Lin herself, artists, and architects of the memorial. Architects from the Architects Fight Additions Journal argue “The additions, which treat the original work of art as no more than an architectural backdrop, reflect an insensitivity to the design 's subtle spatial eloquence”(AIA Journal, 1982). The architects were, in a sense, arguing that any additions would destroy the original thought and meaning of the sculpture. It was created with a specific purpose and had a specific design but adding additional sculptures would take away from the intensity and original…show more content…
It is a pattern that inevitably repeats itself throughout history. Personally, my grandpa fought in the Vietnam War and after talking to him he put it quite simply. He said that he could careless what the wall looked; he used it as a reminder to himself of the hardship of that war, the struggles that he faced, and the good friends that he lost in the war. James Reston of the New York Times writes “ Its inspiration lies in its ambiguity, for it encourages one to ponder the enormous cost of human life without addressing the issue of whether the cost was justified. Veterans, regardless of their support or loathing of their war, have rightly embraced the memorial as their own”(Reston, 1984). The controversy over the art itself is important in that it emits a sense of raw emotion and hurt. However, just as Reston states, whether you like the memorial or not you come to accept it and use it for the main purpose of
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