Louise Bourgeois Loved Spiders


This week Exploring Artism participants looked at the sculpture of French-American artist, Louise Bourgeois. In the late 1990s, Bourgeois began using the spider as a central image in her art. We talked about how the artist thought about her mother as similar to a spider because she nurtured and protected her children as well as worked as a weaver in the family’s tapestry repair business.

Bourgeois’ largest spider sculpture stands at over 30 feet and was named for her mother, Maman.  Maman has been installed around the world for many people experience. Together we looked at Bourgeois’ sculptures, drawings, and prints to find inspiration for creating our own spider sculptures.


Undergraduate members of SAAY – Students for Autism Awareness at Yale joined the fun and helped everyone make their spider sculptures.


Everyone made a lot of decisions about their spiders and all hands helped with the art-making process. After finishing their spider, participants researched the artist and her work to help decide on a name for their sculpture.


We ended with a spider procession and one participant brought it to our attention that “Maman would be super cool to see on Halloween.”



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