Claude Cahun

1894–1954

Claude Cahun, ‘I Extend My Arms’ 1931 or 1932
I Extend My Arms 1931 or 1932
© The estate of Claude Cahun
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In Tate Britain

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Biography

Claude Cahun (25 October 1894 – 8 December 1954), born Lucy Renee Mathilde Schwob, was a Jewish-French photographer, sculptor and writer.

She adopted the gender-ambiguous name Claude Cahun in 1917 and is best known for self-portraits, in which she assumed a variety of personas.

Her work was both political and personal, and often undermined traditional concepts of static gender roles. She once explained: “Under this mask, another mask; I will never finish removing all these faces.”

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