Chinati Foundation

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Chinati Foundation
Chinati foundation.jpg
Chinati Foundation is located in Texas
Chinati Foundation
Location of the Chinati Foundation in Texas
Location1 Cavalry Row, Marfa, Texas, United States
Coordinates30°17′55″N 104°01′37″W / 30.298722°N 104.027009°W / 30.298722; -104.027009
TypeArt Museum
CuratorIngrid Schaffner

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. As Judd wrote in the foundation's first catalogue in 1987:[2][citation needed]

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 in 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.[3]

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.[4]

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

In October 2013 the foundation finalized plans for untitled (dawn to dusk), a 930 m2 (10,000 sq ft), C-shaped concrete structure by Robert Irwin,[5] to join Chinati's permanent collection.[6] Opened in July 2016,[7] this installation utilizes 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.[8]

Also in 2022, the Chinati Foundation – along with the Central Marfa Historic District in Marfa — was officially added to the National Register of Historic Places.[9]



Artist Work
Carl Andre Words, 1958 - 1972

Chinati Thirteener, 2010

Donald Judd 100 untitled works in mill aluminum, 1982–1986

15 untitled works in concrete, 1980–1984

The Arena, 1980–1987

Ingólfur Arnarsson untitled works, 1991–1992
Ilya Kabakov School No. 6, 1993
John Chamberlain Various works, 1972–1983
Richard Long Sea Lava Circles, 1988
Dan Flavin untitled (Marfa project), 1996
Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen Monument to the Last Horse, 1991
Roni Horn Things That Happen Again, Pair Object VII (For a Here and a There), 1986–1988
David Rabinowitch Elliptical Plane in 3 Masses and 4 Scales III, 1971–72

6-Sided Bar III, 1969

Robert Irwin untitled (dawn to dusk), 2016
John Wesley Al Capone Flouting the Law, 1970

Chateau, 1983

Choir, 1988

Day Titanic, 1984

Hannah in Shades, 1989

Hunting Dogs, 1985

Jack Frost, 1971

Mattress Cloud, 1981

Panoply: Eight Silkscreens Inspired by the Splendours of the Great War, 1971

Six-Legged Sheep, 1993

Tour de France, 1982



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 in 1989, Chinati's Artist in Residence Program provides artists from around the world an opportunity to develop and exhibit their work in a stimulating environment.[13] Its Internship Program offers students from a variety of disciplines hands-on museum experience.[14] 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 back issues are available at the Chinati bookstore and all can be downloaded at foundation's website.[15]


The Chinati Foundation has reopened, after being closed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.[16]

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

Further reading[edit]

  • Ackerman, James S., and Chinati Foundation. 2000. Art and Architecture. Marfa, Texas: Chinati Foundation. ISBN 9780967318615
  • Andre, Carl, and Chinati Foundation. 2000. Art in the Landscape. Marfa, Texas: Chinati Foundation. ISBN 9780967318608
  • Bell, Tiffany, Dan Flavin, and Chinati Foundation. 2002. Light in Architecture and Art: The Work of Dan Flavin. Marfa, Texas: Chinati Foundation. ISBN 9780967318622
  • Chamberlain, John, and William C. Agee. 2009. It's All in the Fit: The Work of John Chamberlain. Marfa, Texas: Chinati Foundation. ISBN 9781607020707
  • Antliff, Allan, and Donald Judd. 2009. The Writings of Donald Judd. Marfa, Texas: Chinati Foundation. ISBN 9781615845392
  • Stockebrand, Marianne, Donald Judd, and Rudi Fuchs. 2010. Chinati: the vision of Donald Judd. Marfa, Texas: Chinati Foundation. ISBN 9780300169393
  • Stockebrand, Marianne. 2020. Chinati: the vision of Donald Judd. Marfa, Texas: Chinati Foundation. ISBN 9780300251456

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. ^ The Chinati Foundation: La Fundación Chinati. Marfa, Texas: Chinati Foundation. 1987. pp. unpaginated.
  3. ^ Michael Kimmelman (2001-02-04). "Art/Architecture; The Last Great Art of the 20th Century". The New York Times. Retrieved 2009-01-05.
  4. ^ Daphne Beal (2000). "The Chinati Foundation: A Museum in Process". Art in America. 88 (10): 116–126.
  5. ^ Tessa Solomon (1 July 2022), Jenny Moore to Step Down as Director of Chinati Foundation in Marfa ARTnews.
  6. ^ Jenny Moore (2013). "Letter from Jenny Moore, Executive Director". Chinati Foundation Newsletter. Marfa, Texas: Chinati Foundation. 18: 2–3, here: p. 2.
  7. ^ David Tompkins (2016). "Robert Irwin, Untitled [Dawn to Dusk], 2016: The Opening". Chinati Foundation Newsletter. Marfa, Texas: Chinati Foundation. 21: 4–11, here: p. 4. Available as a PDF on the foundation's website.
  8. ^ David Tompkins (2016). "Robert Irwin, Untitled [Dawn to Dusk], 2016: The Opening". Chinati Foundation Newsletter. Marfa, Texas: Chinati Foundation. 21: 4–11, here: p. 9-11.
  9. ^ Wallace Ludel (6 May 2022), Centre of Marfa, Texas, including 11 buildings repurposed by Donald Judd, added to US National Register of Historic Places The Art Newspaper.
  10. ^ "Staff News". Chinati Foundation Newsletter. Marfa, Texas: Chinati Foundation. 18: 110. 2013. Available as a PDF on the foundation's website.
  11. ^ Tessa Solomon (1 July 2022), Jenny Moore to Step Down as Director of Chinati Foundation in Marfa ARTnews.
  12. ^ "Chinati Foundation Collection". Chinati Foundation. Retrieved 2020-04-30.
  13. ^ "Artist in Residence". Chinati Foundation. Retrieved 2017-06-03.
  14. ^ "Internships". Chinati Foundation. Retrieved 2017-06-03.
  15. ^ "Newsletter". Chinati Foundation. Retrieved 2017-06-03.
  16. ^ Marfa, The Chinati Foundation PO Box 1135 / 1 Cavalry Row; Foundation, TX 79843 Wed-Sun 9am–5pm map | plan your visit © 2021 The Chinati. "Plan your Visit – The Chinati Foundation". Retrieved 2021-02-02.

External links[edit]