“Sculpture is living, it’s vital, it’s changeable. Even when you walk around it, it can be something different.”- Lin Emery
Lin Emery’s work was inspired by her love of nature and her fascination with the movement of water or wind through the trees. Her early sculptural work focused on the figure, gradually moving into abstraction in the mid 1950s. Her kinetic sculpture, often made of aluminum for its lightweight and reflective properties, developed from her interest in the motion of natural elements. She was commissioned to create Morrison Fountain, her first public “aquamobile” (the name she used to describe her kinetic works activated by water) in 1966 as a memorial to a former mayor of New Orleans. She would continue to receive numerous public art commissions throughout her career, including for the Delaware Art Museum, Hofstra University in New York, and Loyola University of the South. Her work can also be seen in public collections of Museums and Arts Centers such as the National Collection of America Art, Washington, D.C., The National Academy of Design in New York, New York, and the New Orleans Museum of Art.
Born in New York, Lin Emery was a resident of New Orleans for many years until her death in 2021. She has said of her chosen city, “In New Orleans, I can do anything I please. New York is so constricting. Also, there is an interaction here between other artists and musicians. There’s not that sense of competition here as in New York. I’ve been able to develop on my own, which I couldn’t do with the pressures of New York. I’ve had time to experiment and fail over and over again.” (John R. Kemp, 64 Parishes) In 1996, a retrospective of her work was exhibited at the New Orleans Museum of Art. In 1997, Emery was awarded the Grand Prize for Public Sculpture for her work ‘Dance of the Tree’ located in Osaka, Japan. In 2004 she received an Honorary Doctorate from Loyola University of the South. The Louisiana Art and Science Museum displayed a comprehensive exhibition, spanning six decades of her work, in 2018. She was represented by Kouros Gallery, New York.