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Jean-Pierre Bonfort: Traveling


Summary Note

The archive Jean-Pierre Bonfort: Traveling contains work prints, books, artists books, post cards, and ephemera related to the artist’s travels, which he documents on his cell phone and produces on inexpensive materials, often creating small offset-printed books and portfolios.

Biographical Note

Bonfort was born in near St. Etienne in 1947 and now lives in Grenoble. He trained as a traditional landscape photographer, but in 2005 he began to use cellphone camera as his primary tool. Bonfort has published multiple books beginning in 1998, and has exhibited internationally since 1979. His photographs are in several collections including the Musée National d'art Moderne, Paris, and Bibliothèque Nationale de France, Paris.

Scope and Content

The principal subject of the Jean-Pierre Bonfort archive is his Traveling project, which is comprised of cellphone photographs taken during multiple trips over a five-year period from a moving train between Grenoble and Paris, France. The images, when exhibited or published, do not appear in sequence, but instead are arranged by the artist to balance subject matter, light, and color. The work is thus not a record of the journey so much as of the artist’s state of mind. In 2011 Bonfort visited Reno, Virginia City, and Pyramid Lake and took hundreds of pictures with his cellphone while driving in the area.

In addition to travels throughout Europe, Bonfort has made forays into Africa and North America, creating test prints on local materials and small books with printers he finds on location. The two small offset-printed books to the far left were printed in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso and Oujda, Eastern Morocco. Bonfort is fascinated by landscapes undergoing change, whether they are along the train route from Grenoble to Paris, in the Paiute Reservation at Pyramid Lake, or within the historical Comstock mining district.

Bonfort often prints his images in small format on inexpensive materials, such as paper towels.
The most important inspiration for Jean-Pierre Bonfort’s cellphone photographs is travel, but other subjects appear regularly in his work, including portraits of the Dauphiné Alps in the region surrounding his home town of Grenoble. Bonfort’s travels have led him to produce a variety of printed objects such tourist postcards, limited edition artist’s books, and small runs of photographic prints made at home with an inkjet printer on paper towels. The archive contains examples of all these means of production and contains work prints, books, artists books, post cards, maps, and ephemera.


Jean-Pierre Bonfort: Traveling is organized into 11 folders first based on subject matter, then on the region of the world. The folders are further arranged alphabetically.

Inclusive Dates


Bulk Dates


Quantity / Extent

.75 cubic feet


French, English, and Portuguese

Related Publications

Bonfort, Jean-Pierre. Cent Paysages: Montagnes du Dauphiné. Grenoble, France: Éditions Cent Pages, 1998.

Bonfort, Jean-Pierre. Homage aux Paysans de Montagne. Grenoble, France: Éditions Cent Pages, 1994.

Bonfort, Jean-Pierre. Jardin D’Altitude II. Villeurbanne, France: Maison du livre, de l’image et du son, 1994.

Bonfort, Jean-Pierre. Jardin D’Altitude. Paris, France: Marval, 1990.

Bonfort, Jean-Pierre. Le Monde N’est pas un Panorama. Grenoble, France: Éditions Cent Pages, 2006.

Museu Monográfico de Conimbriga, Vestigios: Sico, Conimbriga, Portugal: Museu Monografico de Conimbriga, 1994

Container Listing:

  • CAE Box 35

    • Folder 1 1 United States, Virginia City, 2011 – 2012
    • Folder 2 Subject: Mountains, 1988 – 2011
    • Folder 3 Subject: Textures, 1996 – 2010
    • Folder 4 Burkina Faso, 2007 – 2011
    • Folder 5 France, 1996 – 2011
    • Folder 6 Morocco, 2008 – 2012
    • Folder 7 Portugal, 1994
    • Folder 8 United States, Pyramid Lake, 2011 – 2012
    • Folder 9 United States, Reno and Surrounds, 2011 – 2013

Additional Materials

    CAE Flat File F3 Oversized Items

    • 5#1 Nâves-Parmelan, pigment print, 2011
    • 5#2 Chartreuse Mountains, pigment print, not dated
    • 5#3b Vercors Massif, pigment print, not dated
    • 5#4b Travelling- Grenoble/Paris (1), pigment print, 2011
    • 5#5b Travelling- Grenoble/Paris (2), pigment print, 2010
    • 5#7 Travelling- Grenoble/Paris (3), pigment print, 2010
    • 5#11 Untitled (Travelling), pigment print, not dated
    • 5#12 Untitled (Travelling), pigment print, not dated