Vietnam War Memorial Analysis

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The Vietnam War Memorial has been called a "feminist memorial". What do you think that means?

Before we can decide if the Vietnam Memorial is a “feminist memorial,” we must first define what feminist art and analysis is. “Inspired - as its name suggests - by feminism, feminist analysis considers the roles of women in an artwork as its subjects, creator, patrons, and viewers.” (DeWitte 184). Essentially, feminist art is any work that pertains to women. Maya Lin was a 21-year-old Yale student when her proposal for the black stone monument won the largest design competition in American history. “As part of an assignment…[Lin] designed a walled monument to veterans of the Vietnam War that was etched with the names of those who gave their lives.
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For many visiting the wall provides an ongoing healing ritual. Family and friends who lost men and women in the war come to the wall to search for their loved one’s name and make rubbings to carry back home. This ritual, repeated over and over by thousands of individuals, is able to connect personal loss with a much large community of mourners. Offerings are also left at the memorial nearly everyday. “Tens of thousands of so-called artifacts have been intentionally left at the memorial since its opening, including letters, POW/MIA commemorative bracelets, military medals, dog tags, religious items and photographs. One person even left behind a motorcycle.” ( Besides daily rituals, there are also many ceremonies and special events that take place at the wall every year. The VVMF holds these ceremonies to help carry out its mission to honor, preserve and educate. A Memorial Day ceremony is hosted every year to pay tribute who sacrificed their lives in Vietnam and in all conflicts. There is also a ceremony, In Memory Day, that “honors those who died as a result of the Vietnam War, but whose deaths do not fit the Department of Defense criteria for inclusion upon the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C.” ( Another interesting ritual is the reading of all the names aloud. This has been done five times since the memorial installation is 1982. The most recent reading…show more content…
According to DeWitte “identifying and interrupting the symbolic meaning of the objects and elements in artwork often revels previously unsuspected insights into their content.” (182). Audrey Flack’s painting Marylin is a vivid, colorful still life that is filled with symbolism.
The text in the book is from a biography of Marilyn and has references to her gaining recognition in a male-dominated industry. It contains the words, "paint yourself into an instrument of your will.”
The picture of Marylin, along with the flowers and cosmetics surrounding her, convey the traditional view on the female lifestyle.
Marilyn Monroe was a sex symbol and thought to be the quintessential representation of beauty, but Flack includes lipstick, a compact, perfume, and jewelry all to show that beauty is fleeting.
Many of the objects in the painting (the peaches, roses, and green concealer) all point to fake, surface deep appearances. The peach is cut open to reveal an ugly pit. Beautiful roses also contain thorns. Concealer, along with the other makeup, is used to cover up imperfections.
The hourglass, the calendar, and the clock all refer to the passing of
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