Local History: Selections from Judd Foundation’s Photo Archive, Part III

The third part of ‘Local History: Selections from Judd Foundation’s Photo Archive,’ on the occasion of the new publication Donald Judd Spaces, explores historic photos of Donald Judd’s first ranch house, Casa Morales. The majority of the historic photos of Casa Morales can be found in the Jamie Dearing Papers and the Lauretta Vinciarelli Collection.

As noted in parts one and two of this series, Jamie Dearing was Judd’s studio assistant for more than fifteen years during which he took thousands of photographs now housed in the Jamie Dearing Papers. Lauretta Vinciarelli was an architect, artist, and one of Judd’s primary architectural collaborators as well as his partner for almost a decade. The Lauretta Vinciarelli Collection contains more than three hundred photographs taken by Vinciarelli in the 1970s and 1980s.

Below is a photo taken by Dearing, of Judd, his son and daughter, Flavin and Rainer, and Vinciarelli at Casa Morales in 1976.


In 1976, Judd purchased Rancho Alamito, named by its previous owner, Juan Morales, son-in-law of José Prieto, one of the earliest settlers of Pinto Canyon. Rancho Alamito, created in the 1940s, had been part of José’s larger Prieto Ranch. In the 1920s, before giving the ranch to Morales, Prieto hired local stonemasons to build a 1,500-square foot two-bedroom rock house and rock water tank at the base of Sierra Parda, the second highest peak in the Chinati Mountains. Judd named the house Casa Morales, after Juan Morales. Adjacent to the house, Judd added a tiendita – a pantry and utility space – as well as outdoor furniture of his design, seen in the photos below.

Casa Morales is where Judd and his family spent many weekends. Challenging the often-repeated statement that West Texas is the middle-of-nowhere, Judd responded:

To me, it’s not the middle of nowhere; as I said, it’s the center of the world, and it’s basically because I like the land and I like to be here. A rancher once said to someone who once criticized his piece of land which was very barren – you know, asked him why he had it – he said he had it and he liked it because it held the world together. 1


Remotely located, Casa Morales does not have electricity, hot water, or a telephone. As, Judd noted in a 1993 interview, “As a general statement, I find it very strange to want to live in a very crowded and dense space. I don’t think it’s very real for human beings. I think it has a lot to do with social status and symbols. It’s very much like the overcrowded Victorian rooms, and a great deal about consumption and showing that consumption.” 2

Few historical photographs of the interior of Casa Morales remain, though little has changed as photographs below, taken in 2013, reflect.


As was the case with all of his homes and studios, Judd had a diverse collection of books at Casa Morales. At almost one hundred volumes, the library at Casa Morales includes volumes on an array of topics such as Architecture, Art, Geography, Languages, Literature, Science, Nature, and Philosophy. Below is the full list of all ninety-two volumes, plus assorted children’s books and coloring books.

Abe, Kobo. The Box Man. New York: Perigee, 1980.
American Geological Institute. Dictionary of Geological Terms. Garden City, N.Y.: Anchor, 1976.
Aurelius, Marcus. Meditations. New York: Penguin, 1964.
Austen, Jane. Mansfield Park. New York: New American Library, 1964.
Austen, Jane. Persuasion. New York: New American Library, 1964.
Austen, Jane. Sense and Sensibility. New York: New American Library, 1961.
Barthes, Roland. The Pleasure of the Text. New York: Hill and Wang, 1975.
Behler, John. The Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Reptiles and Amphibians. New York: Knopf, 1979.
Borror, Donald. A Field Guide to the Insects of America North of Mexico. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1970.
Britton, Nathaniel Lord. The Cactaceae: Descriptions and Illustrations of Plants of the Cactus Family. New York: Dover, 1963.
Burt, William. A Field Guide to the Mammals: Field Marks of All North American Species Found North of Mexico.Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1976.
Chekhov, Anton. Lady with Lapdog, and Other Stories. Baltimore: Penguin, 1964.
Chesterman, Charles. The Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Rocks and Minerals. New York: Knopf, 1978.
Christie, Agatha. Poirot Investigates. London: Bodley Head, 1978.
Cicero, Marcus Tullius. Selected Works. Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1975.
The Last of Chéri. New York: Berkley, 1966
Darwin, Charles. The Voyage of the Beagle. New York: Bantam, 1972.
de Cervantes Saavedra, Miguel. The Ingenious Gentleman Don Quixote de La Mancha. New York: Viking, 1949.
de la Fontaine, Jean. Fables. Paris: Garnier, 1923.
Díaz del Castillo, Bernal. The Discovery and Conquest of Mexico, 1517-1521. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1956.
Dillon, Elizabeth. A Manual of Common Beetles of Eastern North America. New York: Dover, 1972.
Dobie, J. Frank. Out of the Old Rock. Austin: University of Texas, 1972.
Dobie, J. Frank. Prefaces. Austin: University of Texas, 1975.
Dobie, J. Frank. Rattlesnakes. Austin: University of Texas, 1965.
Dobie, J. Frank. Some Part of Myself. Austin: University of Texas, 1967.
Dodge, Natt. Flowers of the Southwest Deserts.Globe, Ariz.: Southwest Parks and Monuments Association, 1969.
Dodge, Natt. Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument, Arizona. Washington, D.C.: National Park Service, 1964.
Downs, Ray. Japan Yesterday and Today. New York: Bantam, 1970.
Earle, W. Hubert. Cacti of the Southwest. Tempe, Ariz.: Rancho Arroyo, 1986.
Einstein, Albert. A Short History of Music. New York: Vintage, 1954.
Emerton, J. H. The Common Spiders of the United States. New York: Dover, 1961.
Orestes, and Other Plays.Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1972.
Fabre, Jean-Henri. The Insect World of J. Henri Fabre. New York: Dodd, Mead and Co., 1949.
Finsley, Charles . A Field Guide to Fossils of Texas. Austin: Texas Monthly, 1989.
Fitzgerald, F. Scott. The Great Gatsby. New York: Bantam, 1954.
Fitzgerald, F. Scott. The Pat Hobby Stories. Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1962.
Flores, Angel. Selecciones Españolas; A Basic Spanish Reader. New York: Bantam, 1967.
Ford, Ford Madox. Parade’s End. New York: Knopf, 1978.
German stories. Munich: Deutscher Tachenbuch Verlag, 1975.
Girard, Denis. Cassell’s French Dictionary: French-English, English-French.New York: Macmillan, 1977.Girard, Roselle M. Texas Rocks and Minerals: An Amateur’s Guide. Austin: University of Texas, 1964.
Gould, Frank. Common Texas Grasses: An Illustrated Guide. College Station: Texas A&M University, 1978.
Gray, Camilla.The Russian Experiment in Art, 1863-1922. New York: Thames and Hudson, 1986.
Groat, Charles G. Presidio Bolson, Trans-Pecos Texas and Adjacent Mexico: Geology of a Desert Basin Aquifer System. Austin, Tex.: Bureau of Economic Geology, University of Texas at Austin, 1972.
Hess, Thomas, Barnett Newman. New York: MOMA, 1971.
Hitchcock, A. S and Chase, Agnes. Manual of the Grasses of the United States. New York: Dover, 1971.
Hogan, William Ransom. The Texas Republic: A Social and Economic History. Norman: University of Oklahoma, 1946.
Irwin, Howard. Roadside Flowers of Texas. Austin: University of Texas, 1975.
Jameson, John. Big Bend National Park: The Formative Years. El Paso: Texas Western, 1980.
Jastrow, Robert. Red Giants and White Dwarfs: The Evolution of Stars, Planets, and Life. New York: Harper & Row, 1969.
Joyce, James. Ulysses: The Corrected Text.New York: Vintage, 1986.
Langenscheidts Taschenwörterbuch der Englischen und Feutschen Sprache. Berlin: Langenscheidt, 1970.
London, Jack. The Sea Wolf.New York: Harper, 1961.
Mann, Thomas, Death in Venice and Seven other Stories, New York: Knopf, 1954.
Mann, Thomas. Tonio Kröger, and Other Stories. New York: Bantam, 1970.
Marshall, W. Taylor. Cactaceae, with illustrated keys of all tribes, sub-tribes and genera. Pasadena, Calif.: Abbey Garden, 1941.
Maxwell, Ross A. The Big Bend of the Rio Grande: A Guide to the Rocks, Landscape, Geologic History, and Settlers of the Area of Big Bend National Park. Austin: University of Texas, 1968.
McDougall, W. B. Plants of Big Bend National Park: with illustrations and keys for identification. Washington, D.C.: National Park Service, 1951.
McEvedy, Colin. The Penguin Atlas of Ancient History. Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1967.
Medsger, Oliver. Edible Wild Plants. New York: Collier, 1966.
Mondrian, Piet, Piet Mondriaan: From Sketchbooks 1909-1914, Marfa, Tex.: Chinati Foundation, 1989.
Nabokov, Vladimir. Pale Fire. New York: Putnam, 1962.
Newcomb, W. W. The Indians of Texas: From Prehistoric to Modern Times. Austin: University of Texas, 1961.
Peterson, Roger. A Field Guide to the Birds of Texas and Adjacent States. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1963.
Pough, Frederick H. A Field Guide to Rocks and Minerals. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1976.
Reed, Clyde. Common Weeds of the United States. New York: Dover, 1971.
Santayana, George. The Life of Reason. New York: Dover.
Schaefer, Vincent J. A Field Guide to the Atmosphere. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1981.
Schmidly, David. The Mammals of Trans-Pecos Texas: Including Big Bend National Park and Guadalupe Mountains National Park.College Station: Texas A&M University, 1977.
Schoonhoven, Jan, Jan Schoonhoven: Drawings1962-1987, Marfa, Tex.: Chinati Foundation, 1989.
Scully, Vincent. American Architecture and Urbanism. New York: Praeger, 1969.
Shapiro, H. R. USA: Total State.New York: Manhattan Communications, 1986.
Shikibu, Murasaki. The Tale of Genji: A Novel in Six Parts. New York: Modern Library, 1960.
Sorrell, Charles. Minerals of the World: A Field Guide and Introduction to the Geology and Chemistry of Minerals.New York: Golden, 1973.
Sul Ross State University, Museum of the Big Bend. Indian life in the Texas Big Bend, Alpine, Tex.: Museum of the Big Bend, 1978.
Tanizaki, Junichiro. Seven Japanese Tales. New York: Perigee, 1963.
Tennant, Alan. A Field Guide to Texas Snakes. Austin: Texas Monthly, 1985.
The University of Texas at Austin. Geologic Atlas of Texas, Marfa sheet. Austin, Tex.: Bureau of Economic Geology, University of Texas at Austin, 1979.
Tolstoy, Leo. Great Short Works of Leo Tolstoy. New York: Harper & Row, 1967.
Twain, Mark. The Mysterious Stranger and Other Stories. New York: New American Library, 1962.
Tyler, Ronnie C. The Big Bend: A History of the Last Texas Frontier. Washington, D.C.: National Park Service, 1975.
Udvardy, Miklos. The Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Birds: Western Region. New York: Knopf, 1977.
Vines, Robert. Trees, Shrubs, and Woody Vines of the Southwest. Austin: University of Texas, 1960.
Vittorini, Elio. Conversation in Sicily. London: Quartet, 1988.
Warnock, Barton. Wildflowers of the Big Bend Country, Texas. Alpine, Tex.: Sul Ross State University, 1970.
Wauer, Roland. Birds of Big Bend National Park and Vicinity. Austin: University of Texas, 1973.
Wauer, Roland. A Field Guide to Birds of the Big Bend. Austin: Texas Monthly, 1985.
Welles, Philip. Meet the Southwest Deserts. Globe, Ariz.: D.S. King, 1960.
Weniger, Del. Cacti of the Southwest: Texas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Louisiana. Austin: University of Texas, 1969.
Williams, Oscar . The Pocket Book of Modern Verse. New York: Pocket Books, 1954.
Wright, Frank Lloyd. The Future of Architecture. New York: Horizon, 1953.
Yeats, W. B. The Collected Poems of W. B. Yeats. New York: Macmillan, 1959.


1 “Interview with Hans Keller for the television program Roerend Goed” (Summer 1993), Donald Judd Interviews, 837.
2 “Interview with Regina Wyrwoll for the television documentary Bauhaus, Texas” (October 4-5, 1993), Donald Judd Interviews, 854.


Image 1: Donald Judd with Flavin Judd, Rainer Judd, and Lauretta Vinciarelli at Casa Morales. Photo 1976. Jamie Dearing Archive, Judd Foundation Archives, Marfa, Texas; Images 2, 3, 4: View of exterior of Casa Morales. Photo September 1986. Lauretta Vinciarelli © Judd Foundation. Lauretta Vinciarelli Collection, Judd Foundation Archives, Marfa, Texas; Image 5: View from kitchen. Photo 2013 © Elizabeth Felicella; Image 6: View of kitchen. Photo 2013 © Elizabeth Felicella.