Claude Cahun

Claude Cahun created some of the most startlingly original and enigmatic photographic images of the 20th century. Prefiguring by over 70 years many of the concerns explored by contemporary artists today, the importance of her work is increasingly recognised.

Since her “rediscovery” over a decade ago, Claude Cahun has attracted what amounts to a cult following among art historians and critics working from postmodern, feminist, and queer theoretical perspectives. In 1986, Hal Foster dubbed Cahun “a Cindy Sherman avant la lettre.” Since then, photographs of Cahun posing in the 1920s and 1930s in various dramatic settings and guises have been displayed alongside contemporary works.

The Jersey Heritage collection represents the largest repository of the artistic work of Cahun who moved to the Jersey in 1937 with her stepsister and lover Marcel Moore, was imprisoned for activities in the resistance during the Occupation, and remained here after the war until her death in 1954.