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The Wave Field

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1993–1995, Maya Lin. Courtyard off Francois-Xavier Bagnoud Building at 1320 Beal Ave.
  • (Photograph by Balthazar Korab)

This sculpture made entirely of soil covered with grass was commissioned by the FXB Foundation, named for Francois-Xavier Bagnoud, who was a former student in aerospace engineering at the University of Michigan. Maya Lin sought to understand the principles of aerodynamics before creating the work. Thus, it is inspired by the highly regular, three-dimensional wave pattern that can occur on the open sea. The waves rise from the natural ground plane to five or six feet in height, conveying both fluidity and beauty. At the dedication of The Wave Field on October 6, 1995, Albina du Boisrouvray, journalist, mother of Bagnoud, and founder of FXB, stated that the artwork “elevates the original beauty of the surroundings, and evokes the waves of flight that Francois so loved to explore.” It complements the Bagnoud Building (2009, Harley Ellis Devereaux). Johnson, Johnson and Roy, landscape architects, and Canon Russeau, landscape contractors, worked with the sculptor.

Writing Credits

Kathryn Bishop Eckert


What's Nearby


Kathryn Bishop Eckert, "The Wave Field", [Ann Arbor, Michigan], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Cover: Buildings of Michigan

Buildings of Michigan, Kathryn Bishop Eckert. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2012, 150-150.

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