Before Cindy Sherman there was Claude Cahun. Born in 1894 France as Lucy Schwob (she took on the pseudonym at age 22), Cahun dressed up in elaborate costumes and outre make-up as men and women (dolls, soldiers, wrestlers and other gender stereotypes) and took photographs of herself. The first retrospective of her work in the U.S., Entre Nous: The Art of Claude Cahun, is currently on view at The Art Institute in Chicago.
Cahun’s lifelong partner and artistic collaborator, Suzanne Malherbe (aka Marcel Moore), was also her stepsister. They were buried together in St. Brelade’s Church, a parish in the Channel Islands, where they moved shortly after the German Occupation of France. Cahun died in 1954, the year Cindy Sherman was born.