Gazette Drouot logo print

Djo-Bourgeois, A Shooting Star

Published on , by Andrew Ayers

Though his name crops up regularly in auction sales (often preceded by the words “attributed to”), the French architect and interior designer Georges Bourgeois (1898–1937), who practiced under the sobriquet Djo-Bourgeois, is little known outside of specialist circles.

Studio, nickel plated metal furniture, fabrics and carpets by Elise Djo-Bourgeois,... Djo-Bourgeois, A Shooting Star

Studio, nickel plated metal furniture, fabrics and carpets by Elise Djo-Bourgeois, metal table and mirror, Salon des Artistes Décorateurs. Archives Djo-Bourgeois. Photo courtesy of Ville de Paris, Bibliothèque Forney

Yet during his brief career —barely 15 years— he was hailed as a rising star of contemporary design, one of the “moderns” alongside Charlotte Perriand, René Herbst, Pierre Chareau and Robert Mallet-Stevens, all of whom sought to free the 20th-century dwelling from the dark clutter of the Victorian age. His relative obscurity today is due in part to the brevity of his career, but also to the disappearance of nearly all his ensembles and built works, as well as to a complete absence of archives, apart from two collections of photographs and gouaches held at the Forney and Kandinsky Libraries in Paris. Indeed these images (many of which have just been published for the first time in book form by Les Éditions du Regard, in a volume titled simply Djo-Bourgeois ), along with the rare pieces of furniture that can definitely be attributed to him, are all that now remain of a sophisticated body of work that deserves wider recognition. A Beginning Born in Bezons, just outside Paris, Bourgeois began attending the École Spéciale d’Architecture (ESA) in the fall of 1914, at the age of just 16. Though the school remained open during World War I and he was too young to be drafted, he chose to join the war effort at the end of his first year, serving as an engineer…
This article is for subscribers only
You still have 85% left to read.
To discover more, Subscribe
Gazette Drouot logo
Already a subscriber?
Log in