Chinati Foundation

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Chinati Foundation
Chinati Foundation is located in Texas
Chinati Foundation
Location of the Chinati Foundation in Texas
Established 1986
Location 1 Cavalry Row, Marfa, Texas, United States
Coordinates 30°17′55″N 104°01′37″W / 30.298722°N 104.027009°W / 30.298722; -104.027009
Type Art Museum
Director Marianne Stockebrand (director emeritus)
Curator Rob Weiner (curator-at-large)

The Chinati Foundation/La Fundación Chinati is a contemporary art museum located in Marfa, Texas and based upon the ideas of its founder, artist Donald Judd.[1]


The specific intention of Chinati is to preserve and present to the public permanent large-scale installations by a limited number of artists. The emphasis is on works in which art and the surrounding landscape are inextricably linked. Judd wrote in the foundation's first catalogue from 1987:

"It takes a great deal of time and thought to install work carefully. This should not always be thrown away. Most art is fragile and some should be placed and never moved again. Somewhere a portion of contemporary art has to exist as an example of what the art and its context were meant to be. Somewhere, just as the platinum iridium meter guarantees the tape measure, a strict measure must exist for the art of this time and place."


The Chinati Foundation is located on 340 acres (1.4 km2) of land on the site of former Fort D. A. Russell in Marfa, Texas and some buildings in the town's center.

Donald Judd first visited Marfa, Texas, in 1971, and moved himself from New York to Marfa as a full-time resident in 1977. Construction and installation at the site began in 1979 with initial assistance from the Dia Art Foundation in New York. The Chinati Foundation opened to the public in 1986 as an independent, non-profit, publicly funded institution.[2]

Chinati was originally conceived to exhibit the work of Donald Judd, John Chamberlain and Dan Flavin. However, the idea of the foundation developed further and its collection was enriched over years, and now the permanent collection has expanded to include Carl Andre, Ingólfur Arnarsson, Roni Horn, Ilya Kabakov, Richard Long, Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen, David Rabinowitch, and John Wesley. Each artist's work is installed in a separate building or outdoor area on the museum's grounds. In addition to the permanent collection, regular temporary exhibitions feature modern and contemporary art of diverse media.[3]

It was Judd’s goal at Chinati to bring art, architecture, and nature together in order to form a coherent whole.

Marianne Stockebrand served as the foundation's director from 1994 until 2010. In 2011 Thomas Kellein assumed the role of director, and, in 2012, announced his resignation. In August 2013, Jenny Moore became the new executive director.[4]

In October 2013, the Foundation's newsletter announced that plans had been finalized for a new installation by Robert Irwin to join Chinati's permanent collection. Opening July 2016, this installation will utilize Fort D. A. Russell's ruined former hospital, rebuilding the structure within its original footprint while incorporating several architectural interventions to modify the building's dynamics of light and space.[5]


The Chinati Foundation sponsors art and education programs, establishing close links to the local community and other cultural institutions and universities in the United States and abroad. Started by Judd, Chinati's Artists in Residence Program provides artists from around the world an opportunity to develop and exhibit their work in a stimulating environment. Chinati's Internship Program offers students from a variety of disciplines hands-on museum experience. Each summer the museum hosts art classes for local students. Chinati has been producing an annual newsletter in English and Spanish since 1995 (some of the backnumbers are available at the Chinati bookstore and all can be downloaded at Chinati's website).


Full collection and Selections tours are available Wednesday through Sunday. Because of the amount of time necessary to view the entire collection, the Full collection tour is split into two parts, with a break for lunch between the two sections. Tours begin promptly at 10:00 am, break for lunch around noon, and resume at 2:00 pm for the second half of the tour. The museum's Selections tour covers work by Donald Judd, Dan Flavin and John Chamberlain (11:00 am – 1:00 pm).

Two of Chinati’s permanent exhibitions are open for self-guided viewing at regular times each week. Donald Judd's untitled 15 works in concrete is accessible Wednesday through Sunday from 9:00 AM - 4:30 PM. Donald Judd’s 100 works in mill aluminum may be viewed Friday, Saturday, and Sunday afternoons from 2 to 4PM.

The closest airports to Marfa are in El Paso and Midland/Odessa. It is about 3-hour drive from either airport.

Further reading[edit]

  • Stockebrand, Marianne, Donald Judd, and Rudi Fuchs. 2010. Chinati: the vision of Donald Judd. Marfa, Tex: Chinati Foundation. ISBN 9780300169393

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ Roberta Smith (1995-02-26). "ART; The World According to Judd". The New York Times. Retrieved 2009-01-05. 
  2. ^ Michael Kimmelman (2001-02-04). "ART/ARCHITECTURE; The Last Great Art Of the 20th Century". The New York Times. Retrieved 2009-01-05. 
  3. ^ Daphne Beal (2000). "The Chinati Foundation: A Museum in Process". Art In America. Retrieved 2009-01-05. 
  4. ^ Chinati Foundation Newsletter, 18, Marfa, Texas: Chinati Foundation, October 2013 
  5. ^ Chinati Foundation Newsletter, 18, Marfa, Texas: Chinati Foundation, October 2013 

External links[edit]