When Is a Donald Judd the Real Thing?

Donald Judd and Count Guiseppe Panza di Biumo
"Nothing stops or shames him," Donald Judd said of Italian collector Guiseppe Panza di Biumo. Panza acquired a large group of Judd's conceptual designs, intended to be fabricated as minimalist sculptures without the artist's involvement. Panza set about fabricating, but Judd decided he didn't like the results. He disowned them as "conspicuously badly made." A recent study led the Guggenheim Museum to "decommission" some of its Panza/Judd fabrications. This has left museums pondering just what an authentic Judd is.
Installation view of works by Helen Lundeberg, Donald Judd, Frank Lloyd Wright, and Andy Warhol, Virginia Steele Scott Galleries of American Art, The Huntington
No such concerns apply to two Judds recently installed in the Huntington's Virginia Steele Scott Galleries of American Art. One is a plywood desk and chairs (1979-1980) that Judd made for his son in Marfa. Water and paint stains attest to years of use. Acquired jointly with LACMA in 2017, the Judd desk set is shown on a platform with a Warhol Brillo Box and a Frank Lloyd Wright chair.

On the far wall is a stainless steel and Plexiglas Judd stack from 1969. Judd had his second American museum show at the Pasadena Art Museum in 1971. This stack was a partial gift of the artist to the Pasadena Museum. It's now in the Norton Simon Museum collection (though almost never shown), and the NSM has lent it to the Huntington.