Past Exhibitions

“What is Missing?” by Maya Lin

  • Virtual
  • May 2 - October 31, 2021

“What Is Missing?” is a multi-sited memorial created by Maya Lin to raise awareness through science-based artworks about the present sixth mass extinction of species, connect this loss of species to habitat degradation and loss, and emphasize that by protecting and restoring habitat, we can both reduce carbon emissions and protect species.

Click on the dots and symbols in each of the subjects at the bottom of the screen to watch videos, read stories, and view timelines. Click again on the round photographs to read more about specific topics. You can contribute to the website by clicking the pencil in the upper right corner. Share a personal memory to map a disappearance you have witnessed, or share hopeful stories of ecological conservation and restoration.

“What is Missing?” is a virtual component of Cross Pollination: Heade, Cole, Church, and Our Contemporary Moment.




Photograph by Jesse Frohman

Maya Lin is known for her large-scale environmental artworks, her architectural works and her memorial designs. Nature and the environment have long been central concerns for Lin who attended Yale University where she earned a BA in 1981 and a Master of Architecture degree in 1986. Lin was thrust into the spotlight when, as a senior at Yale, she submitted the winning design in a national competition for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial to be built in Washington, D.C. She has gone on to a remarkable career in both art and architecture, whilst still being committed to memory works that focus on some of the critical historical issues of our time.

Lin’s art explores how we experience and relate to landscape, setting up a systematic ordering of the land that is tied to history, memory, time, and language. Her interest in landscape has led to works influenced by topographies and geographic phenomena. Her architectural projects create a close dialogue between the landscape and built environment, oftentimes juxtapose old and new construction, strive to be harmonious within their site- whether it be an urban or rural setting and she is committed to advocating sustainable design solutions in all her works.

In 2009, Maya Lin started work on her last memorial, What is Missing?, an on-going, multi-sited multimedia installation that raises awareness about habitat loss and biodiversity loss, emphasizing how protecting and restoring habitats can help protect species and significantly reduce climate change emissions.

Born in Athens, Ohio in 1959, Lin holds degrees from Yale and the Yale School of Architecture. She lives and works in New York City.


Made possible through support from the Terra Foundation for American Art. The exhibition, Cross Pollination: Heade, Cole, Church, and Our Contemporary Moment, is supported in New York in part by The National Endowment for the Arts, Empire State Development’s I LOVE NEW YORK program under the Market NY initiative, New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature; Robert Lehman Foundation; The Bank of Greene County Charitable Foundation; Greene County Legislature through the County Initiative Program of the Greene County Council on the Arts; The Olana Partnership’s Novak- Ferber Exhibitions Fund, the Kindred Spirits Society of the Thomas Cole National Historic Site, Charina Foundation, The Stainman Family Foundation, Anne Miller & Stuart Breslow, Kristin Gamble, and Deedee & Barrie Wigmore. Support for the catalogue is provided by Furthermore: a program of the J. M. Kaplan Fund.

® I LOVE NEW YORK is a registered trademark and service mark of the New York State Department of Economic Development; used with permission.