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HomeContents > People > Photographers > Claude Cahun

Names:
Born: Lucy Schwob 
Dates:  1894, 25 October - 1954, 8 December
Born:  France, Nantes
Died:  UK, Channel Islands, Jersey, St Hélier
Active:  France
 
  
French woman sculptor, writer and photographer. She changed her name from Lucy Schwob in around 1917 and took a male name that confused photo-historians over her gender for many years. Her lesbian relationship with her lifelong companion Marcel Moore (born: Suzanne Malherbe) perhaps initiated her fascination with self portraits in which she took on alternate personalities. From 1937 onwards they lived in Jersey and stayed there when the Channel Islands were occupied by the Nazis. A considerable amount of her work was destroyed by the Gestapo and she was imprisoned in 1944 but later returned to Jersey.

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Further research

 
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Thumbnail
Claude Cahun
Self-Portrait (I Am in Training, Don't Kiss Me) 
1927 (ca)
 
  
Family history 
  
If you are related to this photographer and interested in tracking down your extended family we can place a note here for you to help. It is free and you would be amazed who gets in touch. 
  
alan@luminous-lint.com
 
  
 
  

Visual indexes

 
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Internet biographies

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Wikipedia has a biography of this photographer.Show on this siteGo to website
Getty Research, Los Angeles, USA has an ULAN (Union List of Artists Names Online) entry for this photographer. This is useful for checking names and they frequently provide a brief biography. Go to website
Grove Art Online (www.groveart.com) has a biography of this artist. 
[NOTE: This is a subscription service and you will need to pay an annual fee to access the content.]
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Printed biographies

The following books are useful starting points to obtain brief biographies but they are not substitutes for the monographs on individual photographers.

 
• Fernandez, Horacio (ed.) 2000 Fotografía Pública: Photography in Print 1919-1939 (Aldeasa) p.75 [This Spanish exhibition catalogue is one of the best sources for illustrations of photomontage and book design for the period between the two World Wars.] 
  
• Lenman, Robin (ed.) 2005 The Oxford Companion to the Photograph (Oxford: Oxford University Press)  [Includes a short biography on Claude Cahun.] 
  
 

Useful printed stuff

If there is an analysis of a single photograph or a useful self portrait I will highlight it here.

 
• Lahs-Gonzales, Olivia & Lippard, Lucy 1997 Defining Eye: Women Photographers of the 20th Century. Selections from the Helen Kornblum Collection (Saint Louis Art Museum, D.A.P.) [Claude Cahun is included in this overview of women photographers.] 
  
• Sobieszek, Robert A. and Deborah Irmas 1994 the camera i: Photographic Self-Portraits (Los Angeles: LACMA - Los Angeles County Museum of Art) p.211, Plate 38 [When the Audrey and Sydney Irmas collection was donated to LACMA - Los Angeles County Museum of Art in 1992 the museum gained a remarkable collection of self portraits of notable photographers. If you need a portrait of Claude Cahun this is a useful starting point.] 
  
 
  
 
  
 
  
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