Chinati Foundation/Fort D.A. Russell

Mountain Trail Region
1 Cavalry Row Marfa, TX 79843 (432) 729-4362


The Chinati Foundation, located just south of Marfa on the 340 acre site of the former Fort D. A. Russell, is a contemporary art museum based upon the ideas of its founder, the late artist Donald Judd. “Somewhere,” Judd wrote in a catalogue for the foundation, “a portion of contemporary art has to exist as an example of what the art and its context were meant to be.” In establishing Chinati, Judd was able to present to the public permanent large-scale works “in which art and the surrounding landscape are inextricably linked.”

The first works were introduced to the site in 1979 with financial assistance from the Dia Art Foundation in New York. Rather than creating new structures to install the works, the Chinati Foundation utilized the pre-existing military barracks and artillery sheds abandoned by the military after closing the base in 1945. The Fort, first established in 1911 to accommodate cavalry and air reconnaissance units after the Pancho Villa raid, served through both World Wars, housing German prisoners of war during World War ll. Today, among the collection of contemporary works, Judd’s own “100 untitled works in mill aluminum” is an unlikely occupant of the re-imagined artillery sheds. The size and scale of the buildings, renovated by Judd with long walls of continuous squared and quartered windows and vaulted roofing, allow the enormous space to fill with light, modifying his one hundred aluminum shapes, each fabricated to an exact outer dimension but with uniquely altered interiors, providing a perfect illustration of Judd’s inextricable link.

Watch the following video to learn more about World War II POW camps in Texas. This video was produced for inclusion in the World War II on the Texas Home Front mobile tour found in our Texas Time Travel mobile app. Learn more about the tour and the app on the World War II theme page at the following link:

Chinati Foundation/Fort D.A. Russell

1 Cavalry Row Marfa, TX 79843


Fees vary by tour, call for prices