Judd Foundation launches updated digital resource for Donald Judd’s library

First Library, La Mansana de Chinati/The Block, Judd Foundation, Marfa, Texas. Photo Matthew Millman © Judd Foundation.

MARFA — On Wednesday, the Judd Foundation launched an updated version of a digital resource providing access to the library of late artist Donald Judd via the foundation’s website. The project offers a searchable online catalog of books housed in the artist’s central Marfa library, providing an interactive experience wherein users can explore the volumes by moving through photographs of the extensive collection.

The resource specifically focuses on Judd’s north and south libraries located at La Mansana de Chinati/The Block in Marfa. The south library, Judd’s original library, focuses on pre-20th century topics including classical art, architecture and history, while the north library, Judd’s former print and drawing studio, focuses on 20th century topics spanning astronomy, philosophy, horticulture and more. The libraries remain organized as they were by Judd himself — the south library and parts of the north library are organized by region and country of origin, with art and architecture sections organized chronologically by birth date of the artist or architect. 

On a floorplan of the library included in the resource, categories are color-coded for intuitive navigation across various subjects. While navigating the stacks through photos of the library, users receive the impression of shelves to their right and left, and can click in either direction to move from shelf to shelf.

“We wanted it to look graceful and beautiful and function with these basic building blocks of the floorplan,” said Rainer Judd, daughter of Donald Judd, who was involved along with her brother Flavin in the development of the tool.

The project is a new-and-improved relaunch of a resource first launched in 2010, then went offline in 2016 — this one with a dynamic visual element that immerses users in the volumes that made up Judd’s beloved collection of resources. The contents of the library provide a rare, vital and uniquely tangible glimpse into Judd’s influences and interests, said Rainer.

“It makes accessible his influences, his travels, because you’ll know just by looking at the books where he traveled to or where he wanted to travel to,” she said.

“This is rare, that we get to see what someone cared about in the form of a library,” she continued.

The library provides an exploratory tool for scholars and other interested readers to move through Judd’s collection remotely and locate copies of the publications through the WorldCat cataloging system. The improved resource was funded by the Carl & Marilynn Thoma Foundation, and was developed by the CHIPS web design studio.