About

Jump to Mission

Mission

Judd Foundation maintains and preserves Donald Judd’s permanently installed living and working spaces, libraries, and archives in New York and Marfa, Texas. The Foundation promotes a wider understanding of Judd’s artistic legacy by providing access to these spaces and resources and by developing scholarly and educational programs.

 

Judd Foundation is a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization.

Jump to History

History

“The space surrounding my work is crucial to it,” wrote Donald Judd in the 1977 essay which first outlined the principles of Judd Foundation. “As much thought has gone into the installation as into a piece itself.”

The history of Judd Foundation is interwoven with the development of Judd’s ideas about art, and the practical concerns of his work. While employed as an art critic in New York in the 1950s and early 60s, Judd became increasingly aware of the limitations placed on artists and the importance of maintaining creative autonomy. His own experience of lending his work for temporary exhibitions, combined with his ongoing investigations into the use of space, influenced his decision to ensure that a portion of his work would be permanently installed as he intended. “The purpose of the Foundation,” he was later to write, “is to preserve my work and that of others […] in spaces I consider appropriate for it. This effort has been a concern second only to the invention of my work. And gradually the two concerns have joined and both tend toward architecture.”

Judd’s strongly held convictions were highly specific to his practice, and they led him to produce work which was radically original. However, as he put it in an interview in 1992, “My clarity is just one person’s clarity.” As a critic and an artist, Judd believed that every individual had the right to pursue their own distinct vision and set of values, generating new ideas and practices as part of a flourishing society. Such freedom depended on “an open situation of contemporary art,”a cultural context artists were prioritized above that of institutions. Judd Foundation was established to support this ideal; since Judd’s death in 1994, the Foundation has worked to preserve Judd’s spaces as he intended, upholding his claim that “permanent installations and careful maintenance are crucial to the autonomy and integrity of art.”

The spaces in New York and Marfa present a series of proposals for how art can be installed and preserved; in being seen and experienced, they serve as a resource for artists and the visiting public, inspiring questions, ideas, and new creative practices. “New work and life is vital,” wrote Judd. “And the development of the new work is only in the middle of the beginning.”

 

Timeline

In the summer of 1960, Judd moved into a loft apartment at 53 East Nineteenth Street, New York, where he began to conceive of a permanent installation of his work and that of other artists. However, it wasn’t until 1968, when Judd purchased the five-story cast iron building at 101 Spring Street, that he had the opportunity to reconstruct the architecture itself, shaping the relationship between each artwork and the surrounding space. Each floor was given a different purpose – such as sleeping, or eating, or working – and Judd looked to the original form of the building to determine how the space was used.

In 1968, Judd purchased the five-story cast iron building at 101 Spring Street, where he had the opportunity to reconstruct the architecture itself, shaping the relationship between each artwork and the surrounding space. Each floor was given a different purpose – such as sleeping, or eating, or working – and Judd looked to the original form of the building to determine how the space was used. Alongside his own art, he installed works by artists including Dan Flavin, Claes Oldenburg, and John Chamberlain, as well as furniture, traditional textiles, and artifacts of forms and materials that attracted him. “I spent a great deal of time placing the art and a great deal designing the renovation in accordance,” he wrote. “The interrelation of the architecture of 101 Spring Street, its own and what I’ve invented with the pieces installed there, has led to many of my newer, larger pieces, ones involving whole spaces.” At 101 Spring Street, Judd was able to install his art as he saw fit, allowing his understanding of particular forms to evolve over time, and gradually shape ideas for new work. Most importantly, these installations were designed to be permanent and visible – a “correction,” as Judd saw it, to the reliance on temporary exhibitions as the primary way to view contemporary art.

As he refined his ideas about the use of space, Judd considered the possibility of a series of permanent installations beyond the urban centers of the art world. In the late 1960s he started taking annual trips with his family to Northern Mexico and the Southwestern United States, and in 1971 the director of the Pasadena Museum of Art, Bill Agee, offered to send a large work which had previously been borrowed by the museum, to any location in the Southwest. This prompted Judd to identify the town of Marfa in West Texas as a place to install the work, choosing the town “because it was the best looking and most practical.” In 1973 Judd purchased two former airplane hangars near the center of the town and began installing work in the east building, later structuring the west building to include a library and a studio.

This was the start of what would become La Mansana de Chinati, known as “The Block”: an enclosed complex of structures where Judd lived with his two children, Flavin and Rainer. In 1974 Judd bought the remaining buildings of The Block, and over the course of several years he gradually shaped the space to reflect his personal understanding of proportion, symmetry, space, and movement. The Block was the physical realization of a series of thoughts about space and form, where art was located as a central experience of daily life. “An alley of green grass and seven plum trees with purple leaves” was aligned with a bedroom window, a pond was designed to hold “a constant triangle of water,” a table and benches designed by Judd were placed in relation to the surrounding structures, and meals were served in the open air.

The development of the Block allowed Judd to expand ideas which had emerged at 101 Spring Street; ideas about the placement of artworks, the integration of art and architecture, and the experience of living and working alongside permanently installed work. During the 1970s, it became clear that measures needed to be taken to safeguard the artworks and the buildings in which they were installed. Judd had seen what could happen to an artist’s work after their death – the paintings of Barnett Newman had been sold and distributed globally, and outdoor sculptures by David Smith had been removed from their original location at the artist’s home and studio. Judd determined that a portion of his own work should remain in place, and in 1977 he wrote the essay which proposed the idea of a Foundation. Two years later, he incorporated those ideas into his will, identifying a Foundation in his name as the primary beneficiary of his estate. “It is my hope that such of my works of art which I own at the time of my death as are installed at 101 Spring Street in New York City, or in Marfa, Texas, will be preserved where they are installed,” he wrote. “I ask the trustees to make every effort to preserve as a unity my works so that such works may serve as a basis for study and appreciation by scholars and the general public.”

In the years which followed, Judd purchased several additional properties in and around Marfa which have since been managed by Judd Foundation. Among these are the former grocery store which served as Judd’s art studio, and the bank building where he based his architecture practice; other former residences and shops were adapted for the purpose of installing art and furniture. In 1986, Judd established the Chinati Foundation in a former military base at the southern edge of the town, where he created large-scale permanent installations of his own work and that of his contemporaries. Though distinct from Judd Foundation, the two organizations work together to support Judd’s legacy and to preserve the spaces he carefully developed.

Jump to Board of Directors

Board of Directors

Fairfax Dorn, Co-Chair
Ellen Salpeter, Co-Chair
Robert C. Beyer, Treasurer
Carl Ryan, Secretary
Bertha González Nieves
Flavin Judd
Rainer Judd

Jump to Emeritus Directors

Emeritus Directors

Dudley Del Balso
Louisa S. Sarofim

Jump to Staff

Staff

Flavin Judd
Artistic Director

Rainer Judd
President

Allison Ake
Visitor Services and Events Manager, New York

Scott Bell
Preparator, Marfa

Beaumont Buck
Art Handler, Marfa

Caroline Carlsmith
Institutional Development Manager

Alexis Daran
Controller and Human Resources Director

Jesse Dominguez
Facilities, Marfa

Richard Griggs
Chief Operating Officer

Yasmine Guevara
Office Manager, Marfa 

Christopher Longfellow
Director of Operations, New York
Donald Judd Furniture

Jonathon Lujan
Spaces Technician, Marfa

Jeff Matheis
Visitor Services and Programs Manager, Marfa

Susanne Maurer
Archives Associate, Marfa

Natalie Melendez
Visitor Services Coordinator, Marfa

Ellie Meyer
Catalogue Raisonné Research Manager

Claire Olszewski
Executive Assistant

Hannah Parker
Senior Director of Development and Partnerships

Alessandra Pohlmann
Building and Collection Manager, New York

Morgan Richards
Development Assistant

Rico Roman
Facilities, Marfa

Shelby Rogers
Collections Manager

Randy Sanchez
Facilities Manager, Marfa

Erin Schneider
Archivist, Marfa

Diana Simard
Collection Technician, Marfa

Peter Stanley
Director of Operations and Preservation, Marfa

Sofia Velasquez-Soler
Communications Manager

Andrea Walsh
Senior Director of Content and Communications

Jump to Guides

Guides

Cody Barber
Lourdes Correa-Carlo
Jessica Kaire
Jana LaBrasca
Jessica Layton
Rebecca Layton
Susa Maurer
Billie Martineau
Natalie Melendez

Charlotte Meyer
David Rosenberg
Matt Scobey
Diana Simard
Kate Sterchi
Calletana Vargas

Jump to Internships

Internships

Judd Foundation offers internships throughout the academic year in our Marfa and New York offices. These internships focus on areas of the archives, communications, catalogue raisonné, development, and visitor services; specialty internships are available from time to time based on needs. Please note information to all internship opportunities will be made available in advance of the semester for applications.