Donald Judd and Marfa


Marfa Courthouse
Marfa, Texas is about a 3 hour drive from El Paso, the nearest city with an airport. We arrived in the afternoon from the airport and had just enough time to check out the town before everything closed for the day. Marfa has two hotels, one of which was used as the HQ during the filming of the movie called Giant starring Rock Hudson and Elizabeth Taylor. A post office, a bookshop with cafe. A modern restaurant. This was 5 years ago. For more information about the town of Marfa, click here.

We spent a night in Marfa. As I mentioned earlier, there were two hotels in the town of Marfa. One is called Hotel Paisano, a national landmark building, and was used as the headquarters during the filming of the movie, Giant with Elizabeth Taylor and Rock Hudson. We stayed at a modern boutique hotel called the Thunder Bird Hotel. The rooms are minimal with tasteful decor that has a hint of southwest flavor. They have an outdoor pool too!

We had dinner at Maiya’s Restaurant. Unfortunately, I don’t remember what I ate but I wasn’t left with a negative impression. I know that’s not a great endorsement but it was the only modern restaurant in town.

Hotel Paisano
We came to Marfa for the main attraction – modern art installation at the Chinati Foundation. I never knew a place like this existed – this was TH’s idea, a place he has always wanted to go to. It’s quite an amazing place if you appreciate large scale works of art, especially modern art. We only went on the morning tour where we saw all of Donald Judd’s works along with a few other artists whose name I was not familiar with. I highly recommend wearing comfortable shoes and taking along a bottle of water. You’ll be doing a lot of walking with the tour guide.

Mill aluminum boxes

click image to launch slideshow.

Note: There is a one hour time difference between El Paso and Marfa so make sure you plan your trip accordingly so you don’t miss your flight.

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3 responses to “Donald Judd and Marfa

  1. There are actually more than three hotels in Marfa, plus there’s a number of bed and breakfast establishments and casitas for rent. El Cosmico offers some less traditional options. Also, Maiya’s is great, but not the only “modern” restaurant–the Blue Javelina, Cochineal, Squeeze Marfa, and Marfa Table all offer “modern” fare, plus some of the best pizza anywhere is found at the Pizza Foundation right smack in the center of town.

    Just saying.

  2. Thanks Rosemary. I was there 5 years ago and I admittedly didn’t spend a lot of time in marfa. At the time of research, the Thunderbird was the “only” other hotel I would consider staying other than the Paisano. I would think there would be more options especially catering to the Chinati Foundation. And Maiya’s was the “only” obvious “modern” restaurant in town. Thanks for your recommendations.

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