One of the most influential artists of the twentieth century, Donald Judd shared his creative vision and process with those working around him, including assistants, fabricators, friends, dealers; many were prominent artists, scholars, and collectors of the time. These individuals each have unique and invaluable perspectives into Judd’s artistic philosophy and working method. The Judd Foundation Oral History Project documents the collective breadth of knowledge that these individuals possess.
The Oral History Project is one way that Judd Foundation expands the understanding of Donald Judd—through recording previously undocumented perspectives on Judd’s practice and by preserving the voices of the creative communities of which Judd was a part of in Marfa, Texas and New York. The Oral History Project began in 2006 with the making of Marfa Voices.
After the making of Marfa Voices the Oral History Project continued to film interviews. Since the project began, Judd Foundation has interviewed 85 individuals whose vivid anecdotes and personal reflections are an invaluable addition to the current historical record of the artist. The Foundation endeavors to make the material available for public viewing in various formats and through the Judd Foundation Archives, which are being catalogued to allow public access in the future.
Marfa Voices is a short documentary film which provides an intimate and unique view of Donald Judd through a collection of vivid anecdotes and personal reflections by Marfa residents along with New York residents who knew him in Texas. These include those who have special connections to his artistic practice as well as his life as a townsperson for nearly twenty years. Created in 2007, the film features far West Texans including Willie Hernandez, Alfredo Mediano, Brit Webb, Billy Spencer, Boyd Elder, Jack Brunson, Tigie Lancaster, Lorina Naegele, Elia Spragg, Mary Lou and Oscar Martinez, Maiya Keck, Robert Arber, Michael Roch, Alice Stevens, Rosario Halpern, and Carl Ryan and Susan Davidoff. In addition, Julie Finch, Jamie Dearing, Dudley del Balso, Paula Cooper, Joe Brady Jr., and David Novros tell the story of how Judd came to Marfa from New York.
Marfa Voices is co-directed by Rainer Judd with filmmaker and oral historian Karen Bernstein.
Oral History Project