Donald Judd's Walker House

Marfa, Texas

In 1972, Donald Judd rented his first house in Marfa, Texas. The Walker House was located in the area of town known as Sal Si Puedes (Get out if you can) and was later purchased by the artist, although he had since moved to The Block, his multi-building complex on El Paso Street. Over twenty years later, Lawrence Converso visited the tiny West Texas town intending to stay only one night. He was so intrigued, he ended up staying a week and met with local real estate agent in the hopes of making it permanent. The Walker House was the second home that Converso toured that day and he knew right away that it was special. In 1998, he purchased the home and the few remaining contents from the Judd Foundation which included the present lot, a tall, roughly made pine table. Converso kept the home for a few years before putting it back on the market. Shortly thereafter, the Walker House was converted into a restaurant, The Austin Street Café, and more recently, back to a single-family home. The table has remained in Converso’s collection ever since. 

Reflecting on the Walker House in Complete Writings, Judd recalled: 

I rented a small house on the edge of the town. The house was quartered into eleven by eleven foot rooms. There was no furniture and none to be bought, either old, since the town had not shrunk or changed much since its beginning in 1886, or new, since the few stores sold only fake antiques or tubular kitchen furniture with plastic surfaces printed with inane geometric patterns of flowers....I designed a bed...so that the lumberyard could cut the few different lengths to size and I could then nail them together in place. I liked the bed a great deal, and in fact the whole house, for which I made other furniture.