Advanced Search
Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, Arkansas. Photography by Edward C. Robison III.

Silver Upper White River

Artist: Maya Lin (born 1959)
Date: 2015
131 in. × 20ft. × 3/8 in. (332.7 × 609.6 × 1 cm)
Medium: Recycled silver
Credit Line: Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, Arkansas, 2015.14
On View
Accession Number: 2015.14
ProvenanceCommissioned through (Pace Gallery, New York, NY) by Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, AR, 2015
Label TextThis sculpture represents the upper portion of the White River, a major waterway running 722 miles through Arkansas and Missouri. Beaver Lake, a manmade reservoir on the White River about twenty miles east of Crystal Bridges, serves as the source for drinking water in much of Northwest Arkansas. You can find the shape of Beaver Lake on the far left of the sculpture. The artist chose the medium—recycled silver—because when Europeans originally arrived in the Americas, there were so many fish in the streams that the reflections off of their backs gave rise to the term “running silver.”

Maya Lin first gained fame for her winning design for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, DC, while she was still an architecture student. Today, her art focuses on humanity’s interaction with nature, underlining our collective responsibility to protect and preserve the world around us.