Lin Emery

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Lin Emery welding at the New York Sculpture Centre in 1954

Lin Emery (b 1928) is an American Kinetic sculpture Artist based in New Orleans.


Lin's Hungarian father died when she was three. Although the family home was in Larchmont, New York, Lin's mother spent the winter season in Florida, and kept her daughter with her. This meant shuttling between a fall and springtime school in suburban New York, and a winter school in Florida. A final full year in a boarding school, with a Rudolf Steiner curriculum, provided the structure to earn college entry credits. At age 16, Lin entered Columbia University. From there she continued changing schools, attending Syracuse University, the University of Mexico, the University of Chicago, and the Sorbonne. Whenever there was free time from classes, she painted and drew, on her own. In Paris she spent evenings drawing from a model, and, noticing a sculpture studio, taught by Russian artist Ossip Zadkine, she enrolled. It was there that she found that sculpture would be her life.

On returning to the United States she learned welding and casting at the New York Sculpture Center. Settling in New Orleans she turned her living quarters into a fully equipped studio.[1]


Lin Emery’s early work was figurative. She was commissioned to portray life sized religious figures for many churches in Louisiana and the South. Gradually the inner supports of the figures (welded armatures) were more interesting to her than the representational surfaces, and she created a series of abstract welded sculptures. These were successful in New Orleans and New York, and encouraged her to explore further. Being free in New Orleans to develop in new ways, she began to experiment with motion. First she used water as the motive force, and her "aquamobiles" gained recognition across America. Twenty foot bronze aquamobiles were commissioned in Tulsa, Oklahoma City, New Orleans, New York, and smaller water-propelled works were exhibited in museums throughout the South. Later she used magnets to create motion, and finally chose wind as a more dependable source. Wind driven sculptures for public spaces were commissioned throughout the United States and the Far East.[2][3]

Theft of Lin Emery Sculpture[edit]

In 2010, thieves broke into Emery's studio, and "...stole some tools, copper pipe, and a huge 13-segment sculpture called the Morrison Aquamobile." It is likely that the thieves stole the materials and the sculpture to sell for scrap metal.[4]


Selected honors and awards[edit]

2004 Honorary Doctorate, Loyola University of the South
2001 Governor's Arts Award, Louisiana
1998 Grand Priz for Public Sculpture, Osaka, Japan
1990 Lazlo Aranyi Award of Honor for Public Art
1984 Louisiana Women of Achievement Award
1983 National Endowment for the Arts "Interarts" Grant

Museum retrospectives[edit]

1996 New Orleans Museum of Art, LA
2010 Leepa-Rattner Museum of Art, FL


  1. ^ Lucie-Smith, Edward. Lin Emery: Borrowing the Forces of Nature. Published by The New Orleans Museum of Art, 1996.
  2. ^ Palmedo, Philip. "Lin Emery." Hudson Hills Press, 2011.
  3. ^ "Smith, G. W. (September, 2013). "Lin Emery by Phillip Palmedo". Concatenations.". Retrieved February 2, 2014. 
  4. ^ MacCash, Doug (11 March 2010). "Thieves steal Lin Emery sculpture". New Orleans Times-Picayune. New Orleans Times-Picayune. Retrieved 22 November 2016. 

External links[edit]

  • Artist's Website [1]