Today marks the 25th th October. Today marks the 127 th birthday of French photographer Claude Cahun. On this date in 1894, Claude Cahun was actually born Lucy Renee Mathilde Schwob. She was born to a prominent, but not so well-known, intellectual Jewish family in Nantes. She is well-known as an author and self portraitist. She expected many performative personalities. Mary-Antoinette Courbebaisse, Mary-Antoinette’s mother, began suffering from mental illness when this gifted personnel was just four years old. Mathilde, Mathilde’s grandmother, raised her when her mother was not there.

Claude was exposed to anti-Semitism at Nantes secondary school. She then went to Parsons Mead School, a private school in Surrey. When she was of legal age, she attended the University of Paris Sorbonne. At the age of 18, she began taking self-portraits. It was the year 1912. She continued to take pictures of her self throughout the 1930s. Claude Cahun returned to Nantes in 1909 and met Suzanne Malherbe, who became her stepsister and her long-time companion. Claude Cahun and Suzanne settled in Paris during the 1920s. They adopted the pseudonym Moore. Marcel Moore was to be their long-lasting artistic and romantic partner at the age of 14.

Cahun and her friends shaved the heads when they moved to Paris in 1919 to study literature. They also adopted their gender-neutral and rebelled against society’s conventions. Moore and Cahun collaborated on a variety of written works, collages and photomontages. Cahun published many works, including “Heroines”, (1925). It’s a collection of monologues that are based on fairy tale characters of women interwoven with clever correlations to the current picture of women. Then came Aveux non avenus (Carrefour) in 1930. It’s a collection of essays and dreams recorded with photomontages. A few essays were also published in magazines and journals.

Cahun joined the Association des Ecrivains et Artistes Revolutionnaires in 1932. There she met Rene Crevel and Andre Breton. She began to connect with surrealists and took part in many exhibitions. The London International Surrealist Exhibition at the New Burlington Gallery was one of these. It took place in 1936. It was also the Exposition surrealiste de’Objets at the Charles Ratton Gallery, Paris. Claude met Andre Breton, the founder of Surrealists in the spring 1934. He called her “one the most curious spirits our time”. She began to adapt herself even more closely to that movement.

Cahun worked together with others to resist the extremist occupation. In 1951, the French government presented them with the Medal of French Gratitude. The famous personality passed away at 60 years old on the 8 th December 1954, in Saint Helier (Jersey). Google today featured an animated Doodle in its homepage in different countries to commemorate her birthday.


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