1894? b October 25th. In Nantes, France Lucy Renee Mathilde Schwob. A French artist, photographer and writer. She was brought up by her maternal grandmother, Mathilde Cahun, the niece of writer Marcel Schwob -> who was admired by the surrealists, and great niece of Orientalist David Leon Cahun ->.
1909 reintegrates into the Nantes school . Beginning of relationship with Suzanne Malherbe (they became sisters when Cahun’s father later married Malherbe’s mother). ==1910's== ==1920's== ==1930's== ==1940's== ==1950's== ==1910's== 1912 Began making photographic self-portraits. 1914 Cahun published in a variety of periodicals including Le Mercure de France. 1915 - 1916 Meets the poet Marc-Adolphe Guegan -> and Jacques Viot ->. 1918 Entry to the Sorbonne (department of philosophy and letters). Long visits to Paris. Collaboration at the Nantes journal La Gerbe and Mercure de France uses pseudonym of Daniel Douglas. Beginning of friendships with Adrienne Monnier and Sylvia Beach. 1919 Meets Philippe Soupault. Connections with the sculptors Chana Orloff -> and Jacques Lipchitz ->. She settled on the pseudonym Claude Cahun, intentionally selecting a sexually ambiguous name. She previously used the names Claude Courlis (after the curlew) and Daniel Douglas (after Lord Alfred Douglas). ==1920's== 1920 Shaves her head bald. Settled in Paris with her life-long partner and stepsister Suzanne Malherbe who adopted the pseudonym Marcel Moore. Collaborated with her on writings, sculptures, photomontages and collages. Befriended Pierre Morhange and Robert Desnos. 1921 Visits the Galerie Surrealiste meeting Marcel Noll. Portrait by the sculptor Chana Orloff. 1922 She and Malherbe began holding artists' salons at their home. Among the regulars who would attend were Henri Michaux, Andre Breton and literary entrepreneurs Sylvia Beach and Adrienne Monnier. 1923 - 1925 Collaboration on Paul Levy's Journal Litteraire. She turned towards theatre (connections with Marguerite Moreno, Ivan Mosjoukine, Ludmilla and Charles Pitoeff). 1925 Meeting with Henri Michaux. Publication of "Recits de reve" in a special issue of Disque vert (Number 2, 1925). She visits Pierre Morhange and the group responsible for Philosophies (Henri Lefebvre, Georges Politzer and Charles-Henri Barbier with whom she re-established contact after 1945). Publication of several new pieces in Le Mercure de France (Heroenes). Gives her support to the "homosexual" journal Inversions. 1925 - 1927 Close friendships with the Buddist Constant Lounsberry and the dancer Nadja. Meeting with Georgette Leblanc, Jeanne Heap (organiser, with Margaret Anderson of The Little Review, with Pierre Albert-Birot. Intense photographic work. Visits Jean Ryeul. 1929 Collaborates on the dust jacket for a novel by Georges Ribemont-Dessaignes, Frontieres Humaines. She shaves her head again.
==1930's== 1930 Thinly disguised autobiography Aveux non avenus, a book of essays and recorded dreams illustrated with photomontages; Meeting with Roger-Gilbert Lecomte. 1932 Joined the Association des Ecrivains et Artistes Revolutionnaires (AEAR) with the support of Yolande Oliviero?. There she met Andre Breton and Rene Crevel. Meets Jean Legrand, Neocles Coutouzis, and Pierre Caminade -> (who form the "groupe Brunet"), maintaining close connections until 1937. 1933 She began to collaborate with the surrealist group. She signs the declarations of the AEAR titled Protestez and ''Contra le fascisme mais aussi contre l'imperialisme francaise''. Meets Tristan Tzara, Gaston Ferdiere, Salvador Dali, and Man Ray. 1934 Published a short polemic essay, Les Paris sont Ouverts. Complicated and affectionate relations with Rene Crevel. 1935 Took part in the founding of the left-wing group Contre Attaque alongside Andre Breton, Henri Pastoureau and Georges Bataille. Meeting with Vitezlav Nezval, the Czech surrealist passing through Paris. Meetings with Roger Caillois and Georges Bataille. Friendship with Jacques Brunius, Nicolas Calas. 1936 Participated in London International Surrealist Exhibition, and Exposition surrealiste d'Objets in Paris. 1937 Cahun and Malherbe settled in Jersey. Henri Michaux joined them on 24 November. 1937 -1938 Illustrates a book of poems by Lise Deharme Le Coeur de Pic (Jose Corti), with a preface by Paul Eluard. 1939 Belongs to the Federation International de l'Art Independant (FIARI). After a stay at the home of her friends Lilette Richter and Neocles Coutouzis she welcomes Jacqueline Lamba-Breton and her daughter Aube (they stayed at "La Rocquaise" from 25 April to 26 May. ==1940's== 1940 - 1945 The War Years; For four years she conducted, without cease and with the complicity of Suzanne, activities of counter-propaganda and of demoralisation towards the occupying troops. 1943 March; she underwent her first interrogation. 1944 On 25 July Claude and Suzanne are arrested by the Gestapo and put in military prison. Attempt at suicide. "La Rocquaise" is largely requisitionned, ransacked (furniture removed, libraries dispersed, archives - notably photographic - partly destroyed). Nov. 16th. They are condemned to death by the German court martial. 1945 Freed from the St Helier prison. She writes long letters, which are variations on her experience during these four years, to Jean Legrand, Andre Breton, Gaston Ferdiere, Jacques Brunius, and Henri Michaux. Very much tried by her imprisonment, her health is profoundly altered. 1946 Creates a collection of notes on her resistance activity (''Le Muet dans la melee''). Start of an autobiography (Confidences au miroir). ==1950's== 1950-1952 Long letters to Paul Levy, Henri Michaux, Charles-Henri Barbier. Awarded the Medaille d'argent de la reconnaissance francaise for acts of resistance in Jersey (2 January 1951). 1953 visits Paris 3 - 20 June. She exchanges letters with Jean Schuster -> who invites her to participate in surrealist activities. Goes to the Cafe de la Mairie where she finds Andre Breton, Max Ernst and meets Toyen. 1954 d. December 8th. Jersey, Channel Islands. Buried in St Brelade's Church with her partner Suzanne Malherbe And I saw new heavens and a new earth. Bibliography - Don't Kiss Me: The Art of Claude Cahun and Marcel Moore ->. Claude Cahun: Ecrits -> edited by Francois Leperlier. Bibliography -> and Chronology ->. and web ->. archive ->. LRB ->. Correspondance de Claude Cahun ->. a Pierre Albert-Birot : Paris, circa 1929 ; Paris, 10 juin 1934. a Andre Breton : Jersey, 30 juillet 1945 ; 18 janvier 1946 (10 feuillets manuscrits); s.d., circa 1952 ; novembre 1954. a Gaston Ferdiere : Paris, septembre 1936 ; s.d., circa 1936 ; Jersey, 23 mars 1946; fin mars 1946 (copie dactylographiee, 41 pages) ; 29 juillet 1946 ; 1er decembre 1946. a Jean Legrand : Jersey, circa 1946, 41 pages manuscrites, (incomplet). a Leo Malet : Paris, s.d., circa 1936 ; 8 mars 1937. a Henri Michaux : Paris, circa 1930 ; fin juin 1934 ; Jersey, s.d., circa 1938; Jersey, 22 mai 1952 (brouillon). a Adrienne Monnier : Paris, 2 juillet 1926 ; Nantes, 2 juillet 1926; 20 juin 1928 (fonds Jacques Doucet). a Lilette Richter : Jersey, 11/12 fÃ©vrier 1946, 6 pages (incomplet). a Roger; Jersey, s.d., Roussot : Nantes, 9 aout 1929; 25 novembre 1930 ; Paris, 19 avril 1931; s.d., circa 1931 circa 1931. a Jean Ryeul : Paris 23 juin 1930. a Georges Schwob : Jersey, 26 sept. 1945. a Marianne : Jersey, 18 aout 1948 (45 pages dactylographies, manuscrit incomplet). a Jean Schuster : Jersey, 19 fevrier 1953, 4 pages dactylographiees; 5/6 mai 1953, 14 pages manuscrites ; 8 mai 1953 ; 23 mai 1953 ; 15 juin 1953. a Jacques Viot : Paris, s.d., circa 1931, brouillon. a Tristan Tzara : Paris, s.d., circa 1934, fonds Jacques Doucet. a correspondant non identifie : Paris, 27 mars 1926, (en anglais). Correspondances croisees de Henri Michaux a Claude Cahun : Paris, 19 janvier 1925. de Pierre Albert-Birot a Claude Cahun : Paris, 23 juin 1930. de Nicolas Calas a Claude Cahun : Paris, 16 rue Fermat, 1er fevrier 1939. de Robin King a Claude Cahun et Suzanne Malherbe : 8 aout 1945, (5 pages). de Jose Corti a Suzanne Malherbe : Paris, 30 decembre 1963. de Suzanne Malherber a Andre Breton, Jersey, 31 juillet 1945, fonds Jacques Doucet. de Suzanne Malherbe a Gaston Ferdiere, Paris, s.d., circa 1936 ; Jersey, 19 mars 1946. Reading Claude Cahun (review) ->. See Timeline