The Chinati Foundation in Marfa has announced that it will be closed to the public for the remainder of 2020. In El Paso County, around 200 miles away from Chinati, cases have reached 76,075, a daily average of 1,545 cases — a worrisome spike that no doubt play into Chinati’s decsion to close.
As one of the many art institutions to announce closures on March 11 of this year, Chianti grappled with phased reopening for guided and self-guided tours in the summer, until today’s announcement. The closure comes a little more then a month after the Chinati Weekend 2020 was moved to online-only, and a week after the last scheduled self-guided walking tours at the museum.
“Locals and travelers alike are especially vulnerable here in West Texas, where emergency care centers are distant and already at capacity,” reads a statement from Chinati. “The safety of Chinati’s staff, the Marfa community, and public health will continue to be of paramount importance. This closure will last through the holiday season.”
There are four resident artists scheduled at Chinati in 2021; the announcement does not address how the closure through the end of this year will affect them.
Chinati’s decision will undoubtedly add to uncertainty in the town where former part-time docents and exhibition assistants from Chinati were laid off during the early days of the Covid-19 pandemic. Artnet News puts the number as 21 part-time docents, four part-time visitor services staff, and one full-time installation custodian.
For updates on the closure, or to learn more about the Chinati Foundation, please go here.