The Chinati Foundation released an odd statement today that it was “proud to announce” that it has been selected for inclusion on the 2014 Worlds Monument Watch list. Since 1996, the Watch has served as a call to action on behalf of cultural heritage sites across the globe “at risk from the forces of nature and the impact of social, political, and economic change.” So it seems odd because a lot of the sites that end up on the Watch list are also dealing with natural disasters or political atrocities.
In the case of the Chinati Foundation, the art museum created by the late sculptor Donald Judd just outside Marfa, it is simply that the buildings were never created to preserve artworks. So the Worlds Monument Fund is basically recognizing the important cultural significance of the site, also noting that the “deteriorating state” of the campus leaves the artwork endangered.
The announcement is ironically timed right before Chinati Weekend—a two-day celebration of screenings, talks, exhibitions and a benefit dinner for the foundation. (Chinati Weekend visitors may wish to read the tips in Glasstire’s recently published “Ten Things You Need to Know If You Are Going to Chinati Weekend.”)