Cloth-covered hard binding, with brass binding screws. "LB" center cover and "Louise Bourgeois" center spine, embossed in black.
This 1994 autobiographical work, titled “Album,” is comprised of old family photographs along with texts by the artist. It is based on a slideshow-format film Bourgeois created in 1983 titled “Partial Recall.” This film was presented in the lobby of The Museum of Modern Art, New York in conjunction with the artist’s 1982–1983 retrospective there. Many of the images in that film appear in “Album,” and much of the book's text comes from the film's voice-over narration by the artist.
“Album” documents aspects of Bourgeois’s early life. The artist, born in 1911, had two siblings: an older sister called Henriette, and a younger brother, Pierre. Until she was six years old, the family lived in Choisy-le-Roi, France in a large home that accommodated the family’s tapestry restoration business, near the River Seine. When World War I broke out, her father enlisted. His wife visited him at various encampments with the young Louise in tow. After the war, the family moved to Antony on the banks of the Bièvre River. They chose their homes with proximity to rivers since the water was important to the process of tapestry restoration. In the early twenties, an English tutor named Sadie Gordon Richmond was hired for the children, but also became the father’s mistress. She stayed in the house for ten years, causing Bourgeois great distress and memories that lasted a lifetime.
At the time the film, "Partial Recall," was made, Bourgeois was also asked to create a page project for Artforum magazine (December 1982) and she based it on some of the same photographs and narration. The Artforum piece, titled “Child Abuse: A Project by Louise Bourgeois” is seen below in Related Works in the Catalogue.
Much later, in 2001, Bourgeois again used some of these photographic images for the fabric illustrated book, “The Trauma of Abandonment,” seen below in Related Work in the Catalogue.
In the text seen here, as well as in spread no. 3 of 3 of the 1999 periodical, “Point d’ironie,” and no. 23 of 23 of the 2002 fabric book, “Ode a la Bièvre,” Bourgeois discusses going back to Antony with her children. See Related Works in the Catalogue below.
MoMA Credit Line:
Gift of the artist
MoMA Accession Number:
This Work in Other Collections:
American Art and Portrait Gallery Library, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC The Baltimore Museum of Art, MD Brooklyn Museum, NY Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles Harvard University, Fine Arts Library, Cambridge, MA Kunstmuseum Bern, Switzerland The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston Walker Arts Center, Minneapolis
No. 65 of 69 In 1955 or ’56 I went back. I had to see the house again. And I found it. It was completely — the character had changed — 15 or 20 different families had lived in it.
I can’t say that it was sad. It was just different.
I went back with my own children and — I felt better. I had seen the old house. I had wanted to see it, I had needed to see it, and I did visit it and I felt better. That’s it. You see, the world goes on and there is nothing we can do.
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