Know About Claude Cahun’s Mother Mary-Antoinette Courbebaisse

Mary-Antoinette Courbebaisse is the mother of Claude Cahun, a French legendry surrealist photographer, sculptor, and writer. She is a ground-breaking artist better known for her works as a writer and a self-portraitist. She was ahead of time, as her works expressed gender fluidity even when the term was coined. Her works focused on gender identity and idiosyncratic depiction of women and social activism which continues to inspire artists to date.

Her notable work includes writing, photography, tableaux, and theatre, comprising elements of Surrealism. She was a resistance worker and propagandist for France during World War II.

Her major writing work includes Heroines (1925) which showcased the contemporary image of women with the portrait of female fairy tale characters. She published Aveux non-avenus, an essay book with photomontages in 1930.

More About Mary-Antoinette Courbebaisse

Full Name: Mary-Antoinette Courbebaisse
Stage Name: Mary-Antoinette Courbebaisse
Gender: Female
Birthday: Not Known
Place Of Origin: U.S.
Age: Not Known
Nationality: American
Sexual orientation:  Straight
Marital status: Married 
Spouse: Not Known
Profession: Not Known
Parents: Not Known
Grandparents: Not Known

Mary-Antoinette Courbebaisse’s Family Background

Mary’s daughter Claude was born Lucy Renee Mathilde Schwob on 25 October 1894 in Nantes, France in a middle-class Jewish family. Her uncle Marcel Schwob was an Avant-garde writer and her great-uncle David Léon Cahun was an Orientalist. Due to mental illness, Mary was sent to a mental rehabilitation center when her daughter Claude was just 4 years old. Thereafter Claude was raised by her grandmother, Mathilde.

After the rise of antisemitism in France, Claude was made to take a private school in Surrey. After graduating from the University of Paris, Sorbonne, in 1912 she began making photographic self-portraits at the age of 18. She changed her name to Claude Chun and settled in Paris with his partner Suzanne Malherbe (renamed Marcel Moore). Both worked together on many sculptures, books, novels, photomontages, college, etc. She died on 8 December 1954, in Jersey, France.

Mary-Antoinette Courbebaisse’s Career 

After settling in Paris with her lifelong partner Marcel Moore, she began to associate with artists involved in surrealist art. She became a member of the Association des Écrivains et Artistes Révolutionnaires in 1932. She coordinated with André Breton and René Crevel. Her photographs were showcased in the London surrealist exhibition of Sheila Legge in 1936, which  was published in several newspapers and books. Claude’s short polemic essay Les Paris sont Ouverts was published in 1934. She  created anti-german/nazi propaganda materials, such as fliers, and snippets. She collaborated with American visual artist, Man Ray, who contributed to the Surreal movement. She was also a founding member of the left-wing anti-fascist group Contre Attaque alongside André Breton and Georges Bataille. Claude and Moore were caught by the Nazi army and sentenced to death. But they escaped the prison when Jersey was liberated in 1945. 

Mary-Antoinette Courbebaisse’s Family Net Worth 

Mary was sent to the psychiatric facility, as such there is no information about her wealth. Although Mary’s daughter created portraits for herself and did not want to come in limelight, today her works are considered to be antique pieces of art in the contemporary world. Her self-portraits, paintings, and writings amount to more than $1 million as of today. The collection of her writing published in 2002 was compiled and edited by François Leperlier. A street in Paris was named after Claude and Moore in their honor.