Oral History Project
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. Since the project began in 2006, 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, a short documentary film created in 2007 by Judd’s daughter, Rainer, portrays an intimate and unique view of the artist. A graduate of New York University in film, she has worked with directors such as Francis Coppola and Gus van Sant, both in front of and behind the camera. In 1994, she became co-executor of the Judd Estate and in 1996 she became a founding trustee of Judd Foundation and serves as Co-President with her brother Flavin. The film, which she co-directed with filmmaker and oral historian Karen Bernstein, features excerpts from these interviews. The result is a collection of vivid anecdotes and personal reflections by Marfa residents who have special connections to Judd’s artistic practice, as well as his life as a townsperson for nearly 20 years.