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Marfa: A Small Town with Big Ideas

It may be tiny, but this Texas art-world hangout is a community with serious cultural ambitions.

By Jori Finkel
Artist Donald Judd was drawn to Marfa's empty, light-soaked plains in the 1970s.  With site-specific pieces like this one, he laid the foundation for a modern-art Mecca.Judd in the early '90s.Judd's <i>100 Untitled Works in Mill Aluminum (1982-1986)</i>.Dan Flavin's 1996 <i>Untitled</i>.The Chinati office today (from left): David Tompkins, director Marianne Stockebrand, Rob Weiner, Nick Terry.Robert and Valerie Arber came to Marfa in 1998. Robert printed the suite of Judd's 1992-1993 untitled wood-block works that hangs on the wall.Restaurateur Maiya Keck.Shrimp salad at Maiya's.The Marfa National Bank Building, now part of the Judd Foundation.Essential Marfa gear at the home of Harry and Shelley Hudson.The Thunderbird Hotel.A derelict windmill.Browsing for books at the Marfa Book Company.The vast landscape visible from the windows inside the Crowleys' ranch house.Tim Crowley and Lynn Goode Crowley pose outside their modernist ranch house.A relaxing view: the pool at Tim Crowley and Lynn Goode Crowley's ranch house.The team behind the Ballroom exhibition space.The Ballroom hosts live concerts and art exhibits.Fairfax Dorn's cozy home.Dorn's house often serves as guest quarters for visiting artists.Youth movement: Kindergartners from Marfa Elementary outside the Goode Crowley Theater.
Artist Donald Judd was drawn to Marfa's empty, light-soaked plains in the 1970s. With site-specific pieces like this one, he laid the foundation for a modern-art Mecca.
PHOTO: Florian Holzherr
Judd in the early '90s.
PHOTO: Paul Costello
Judd's 100 Untitled Works in Mill Aluminum (1982-1986).
PHOTO: Paul Costello
Dan Flavin's 1996 Untitled.
PHOTO: Paul Costello
The Chinati office today (from left): David Tompkins, director Marianne Stockebrand, Rob Weiner, Nick Terry.
PHOTO: Paul Costello
Robert and Valerie Arber came to Marfa in 1998. Robert printed the suite of Judd's 1992-1993 untitled wood-block works that hangs on the wall.
PHOTO: Paul Costello
Restaurateur Maiya Keck.
PHOTO: Paul Costello
Shrimp salad at Maiya's.
PHOTO: Paul Costello
The Marfa National Bank Building, now part of the Judd Foundation.
PHOTO: Paul Costello
Essential Marfa gear at the home of Harry and Shelley Hudson.
PHOTO: Paul Costello
The Thunderbird Hotel.
PHOTO: Paul Costello
A derelict windmill.
PHOTO: Paul Costello
Browsing for books at the Marfa Book Company.
PHOTO: Paul Costello
The vast landscape visible from the windows inside the Crowleys' ranch house.
PHOTO: Paul Costello
Tim Crowley and Lynn Goode Crowley pose outside their modernist ranch house.
PHOTO: Paul Costello
A relaxing view: the pool at Tim Crowley and Lynn Goode Crowley's ranch house.
PHOTO: Paul Costello
The team behind the Ballroom exhibition space.
PHOTO: Paul Costello
The Ballroom hosts live concerts and art exhibits.
PHOTO: Paul Costello
Fairfax Dorn's cozy home.
PHOTO: Paul Costello
Dorn's house often serves as guest quarters for visiting artists.
PHOTO: Paul Costello
Youth movement: Kindergartners from Marfa Elementary outside the Goode Crowley Theater.
PHOTO: Paul Costello
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