They were made for children, but this is no child's play: Donald Judd, the artist considered a giant of Minimalism despite his rejection of the term, began creating simple wooden furniture for his children's bedrooms when the family moved from New York City to Marfa, Texas, in the late 1970s.
Two early prototype chairs have been acquired jointly by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and the Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens in San Marino, the institutions announced Sunday. The chairs complete a set with a desk that has been in LACMA's collections since 2011.
Judd, who is primarily known for his sculpture, came to furniture design later in life when he had difficulty finding functional household items that matched the unusual architecture of the once vacant historic buildings he was adapting for reuse as studios, galleries and living spaces.
He originally sourced pine from local lumberyards, and the resulting pieces were simple and reductive.
Judd died in 1994. His son, Flavin, made the reunion of the chairs and the desk possible, having facilitated LACMA's original acquisition of the desk and later the chairs, which were still in his possession. The suite of furniture will go on view at the Huntington next year.