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Chinati Foundation
Chinati foundation.jpg
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Established 1986
Location 1 Cavalry Row, Marfa, Texas, United States
Type Art Museum

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.


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:

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.

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.

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, to join Chinati's permanent collection. Opened in July 2016, 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.

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.


  • 1994–2010: Marianne Stockebrand
  • 2011–2012: Thomas Kellein
  • 2013–2022: Jenny Moore
  • 2023- : Caitlin Murray


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. Its 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 back issues are available at the Chinati bookstore and all can be downloaded at foundation's website.


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

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

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