The Chinati Foundation is a contemporary art museum founded by the artist Donald Judd (1928-1994) in the small, remote community of Marfa, Texas. Chinati occupies 34 buildings on 340 acres of a former military base called Fort D.A. Russell, amid the austere, vast beauty of the Chihuahuan Desert. Here, as Judd intended, the interplay of art, architecture and the land form a cohesive, intensely thou...ghtful whole, where the isolation and openness of this rugged country and the presence of the sky enhance the experience of the museum and its works. The museum’s collection includes permanent installations by artists Carl Andre, Ingólfur Arnarsson, John Chamberlain, Dan Flavin, Donald Judd, Roni Horn, Ilya Kabakov, Richard Long, Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen, David Rabinowitch and John Wesley. In addition, the permanent installation of a new work by Robert Irwin, opened to the public in July 2016.
The museum's annual operating budget is $2.3 million, and capacity has grown at an annual rate of 7-10% over the last five years. Chinati has an endowment that is currently valued at $13.2 million. In 2016, the museum successfully completed a $5 million campaign for Robert Irwin’s permanent installation, untitled (dawn to dusk). Significant support is received from individuals and foundations including the Hearst Foundations, Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Brown Foundation, Lannan Foundation, Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation and the Still Water Foundation.
In 2017, Chinati will complete a master plan for the conservation, restoration, maintenance, and development of the museum’s entire collection and complex of 34 buildings situated on 340 acres of high desert grassland.
The Chinati Foundation organizes special exhibitions, which either focus on aspects of the work of artists represented in the permanent collection or feature the work of artists linked to Judd’s interests. The museum also sponsors arts and education programs, including artists’ residencies, college and university internships, children's art classes, international symposia (the proceedings of which are published), seminars, performances, concerts and other annual celebrations. The museum publishes an award-winning annual newsletter, which chronicles its activities and has become one of the most respected publications of its kind in America. Attendance continues its 30% annual growth rate. This past year, over 35,000 visitors came to view the collection.