Donald Judd found his ideal place to live, work, and exhibit his art in the wide, open skies and land of Marfa, Texas. Beginning in the 1970s, Judd began purchasing land and buildings in Marfa, turning, for instance, an empty bank into an architecture studio, a former grocery store into an art studio, and the former Fort D.A. Russell, which served as the headquarters for the Big Bend Military District during the Mexican Revolution, into the Chinati Foundation, a site for permanent large-scale art works.
Although Marfa is in an isolated, rural location, this has not stopped it from developing into a mecca for artists and art lovers. Marfa is now home to a number of art galleries as well as Ballroom Marfa, a contemporary cultural arts space that presents a variety of visual arts, film, music, and performance programs by emerging and recognized artists, while maintaining a strong connection to its community through such efforts as community dinners. This connection is important for although it attracts art lovers the world over, Marfa continues to be a quiet ranch town with an extraordinary appreciation for and collection of art.
Aerial View of Marfa and the Chinati Foundation. Photo by Florian Holzherr, 2001. Courtesy of the Chinati Foundation. Art © Judd Foundation. Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY