Jean-Louis Bourgeois

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Jean-Louis Bourgeois (born 1940) is an author and the son of artist Louise Bourgeois and art historian Robert Goldwater. Bourgeois studied literature and architectural history at Harvard University, where, for an essay on labyrinths, he won the Bowdoin Prize (won in 1820 and 1821 by Ralph Waldo Emerson). In 1969 and 1970 Bourgeois worked at ArtForum before becoming an expert in the production and history of mud brick architecture.[1] He is the author of the volume "Spectacular Vernacular: the Adobe Tradition" (with photographs taken by his late wife Carollee Pelos)[2] which established him as one of the foremost experts in the world on the subject.[3] He owns a home in Djenne, Mali and has actively been involved in architectural conservation efforts there including the preservation of the world's largest adobe building the Great Mosque of Djenne, [4] and has written extensively on the subject [5] While living in Djennê, Bourgeois opposed the Talo Dam project, and became a fixture in the city's cultural life.[1] Bourgeois has been adopted by the reigning King of Djenne as a son.[1] He appeared in the biopic on his mother Louise Bourgeois: The Spider, the Mistress, and the Tangerine.[6] Bourgeois owns an adobe house in Taos, New Mexico and has written on the Southwestern American Indian Adobe tradition [7][8]


  1. ^ a b c Alex Ulam. "The Clown. How to tell jokes that win friends and influence people in an ancient city in sub-Saharan Africa The Walrus. July/August 2004. pp.24-5 Bourgeois intends to translate the article into Funny.
  2. ^ Jean-Louis Bourgeois, Carollee Pelos. Spectacular Vernacular: a New Appreciation of Traditional Desert Architecture. Peregrine Smith Books, 1983. ISBN 9780879051440
  3. ^ 7 Stories of Water in a 2-Story Building by Josh Barbanel, The New York Times. Published: October 8, 2006.
  4. ^ Deidre d'Entremont. The Djenne Project, Mali: Jean Louis Bourgeois, Coordinator. Cultural Survival Quarterly 25.2 (Summer 2001) Endangered Languages, Endangered Lives.
  5. ^ Jean-Louis Bourgeois. The History of the Great Mosques of Djenné. African Arts Vol. 20, No. 3 (May, 1987), pp. 54-63+90-92
  6. ^ In " Louise Bourgeois: The Spider, the Mistress, and the Tangerine" [1]
  7. ^ Ianto Evans, Michael G. Smith, Linda Smiley. The Hand-Sculpted House: A Philosophical and Practical Guide to Building a Cob Cottage. Chelsea Green Publishing, 2002 ISBN 9781890132347 p.265
  8. ^ Bourgeois, Jean-Louis. Vernacular Architecture in the Desert. in Joseph F. Kennedy, Michael Smith, Catherine Wanek (eds) The Art of Natural Building: Design, Construction, Resources. 6th Edition. New Society Publishers, 2001 ISBN 9780865714335