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“Good Tour of Sculptural Modern Art”
Review of Chinati Foundation

Chinati Foundation
Ranked #2 of 16 things to do in Marfa
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: An art museum operated by the Chinati Foundation, housed in a former U.S. Cavalry post, Fort D.A. Russell.
Reviewed June 11, 2013

We reserved a space for the modern art tour which starts at 10am and lasts till 4pm. Some of the previous reviews about the Chinati Foundation noted that you must have a tour reservation to visit the majority of the works and that is true. The majority of the tour is a review of permanent sculptural installations throughout different buildings in what used to be an old military base. Several of the installations could be potentially negatively affected by visitors and there are too many buildings to staff each one with a monitor and therefore the guided tours are the foundation's way of keeping the art safe and providing a good experience to those who visit. I am certain that many of the pieces went way over my head due to my lack of knowledge and experience with modern art, but many of the pieces are very interesting and the tour was a good way to experience the art. Our guide told us the history of the buildings, the history of Marfa and provided us with information on the installations.

The tour consist of about 2 miles of walking. Put on Sunscreen, bring water and wear closed-toed-shoes. A good majority of the walking takes place outside between the buildings and installations; the grasses have little burs on them. This would not be a tour for kids.

Plan ahead and get a reservation for the tour especially on a holiday week or weekend.

1  Thank vjack0887
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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201 - 205 of 261 reviews

Reviewed June 4, 2013

I guess I'm not an art aficionado. I was expecting the art work to be framed in the pastures. I was disappointed. Plus, they wanted to charge $25 to tour the rest.....Rest of what????

Thank Dish825
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 16, 2013

My family (8 of us) took the all day tour and it was very worthwhile. The "100 untitled works in milled aluminum" was stunning - took my breath away. The rest of the tour was interesting, but unless you're an art historian or curator (which one of our party is), not so memorable. With the constant interplay of light and the exterior landscape, "100 untitled works" is inexhaustible. It excites on an intellectual, aesthetic, and emotional (one might say spiritual) level - a fully realized work. It's a shame that the Foundation has not used the WWII drawings in one of the buildings as the basis for an exhibit, perhaps one that interprets the history of the base. The drawings are barely protected by plexiglass, and the building has not been stabilized, with no windows or other protections from the elements. Judd appears to have (increasingly) valued the base's history, and particularly these drawings. The Foundation should respect Judd's interest in this vernacular art, as well as the meaning the buildings and the landscape have for people other than artists who come from all over the world and who have little or no relationship to this specific locale.

Thank AnthroProfRet
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 22, 2013

The Chinati Foundation is not a good choice if you only have casual interest. Your options are only long tours (e.g. 4 hours for the main one) or a short walk through some very simple cement structures for which there is no guide.

Skip Marfa entirely and go to Fort Davis for much more user-friendly tours of the McDonald Observatory and the National Historic Park.

1  Thank Kelly2000
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 16, 2013

You probably should not be visiting Marfa if you don't visit the Chinati. They practically own the town. They are quite organized and very very helpful when it comes to understanding the significance of all the art on display all around the town.

Thank pinkysworld
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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