The Mystique of Marfa
Marfa is a strange place, but one that effortlessly grasps your heart and attention. It is a place of vast landscapes and endless skies. A center of art and culture and experimentation. A tight-knit community and a wonderful collection of characters. Equal parts tranquility and excitement. All in the middle of nowhere.
The artist Donald Judd came to this remote corner of Far West Texas in the 1970's. His efforts led to the town's reputation as a Mecca of Minimalism in art, design and architecture. Today, Marfa is an international destination for art, music, film, and relaxation...and Instagram posts.
A Little History
The town of Marfa was established back in the 1880s as a remote waterstop along the Southern Pacific Railroad. Legend has it, the wife of the railroad's chief engineer named the town after a character in a novel she was reading at the time—Marfa (or "Martha") from Dostoyevsky's "The Brothers Karamazov."
How do y'all get here?
It ain't easy...but...
By plane: fly into El Paso or Midland, and then about a 3-hour drive from either airport. We're about a 6.5 hour drive from Austin. We have a municipal arport just outside of town...if you can afford that.
By train: there is an Amtrak stop in Alpine, 30 minutes down the road by car.
By portal: stare into a mirror and say "WWDJD" three times and you may wake up inside a Judd concrete block over at Chinati.
Check out visitmarfa.com for more information!
Marfa Mystery Lights
Welcome to The Twilight Zone. If you're lucky, after dark, you might catch a glimpse of the glimmering speckles of mysterious lights that dance across the night sky off of Route 67 just outside of Marfa. The Mystery Lights were first documented in 1883. Their origin: unknown. Doododoododoododoodo.
The iconic Prada Marfa building is in fact 37 miles outside of town, just past the small village of Valentine, but it has become both a cultural icon and a popular tourist stop. The permanent art installation was constructed in 2005 by the artist duo Elmgreen and Dragset. Though you can't actually shop at this Prada store, the building does in fact house items from the designer brand's Fall/Winter 2005 Collection.
The Chinati Foundation
The Chinati Foundation is one of the main attractions of contemporary art here in Marfa. This sprawling property is home to Donald Judd's iconic "15 untitled works in concrete." The Foundation also houses work and installations by Dan Flavin, John Chamberlin, Carl Andre, Robert Irwin, and many other remarkable artists. Click here for visitor information.
The Judd Foundation maintains and preserves Donald Judd's legacy by providing access to his living and work spaces, libraries, and archives here in Marfa. Sign up for a tour!