Front / Recto

  • Title Untitled
  • Negative Date c. 1925
  • Print Date 1925–34
  • Medium Gelatin silver print
  • Dimensions Image 4 1/16 x 2 15/16" (10.3 x 7.4 cm)
    Sheet 4 3/8 × 3 3/8" (11.1 × 8.5 cm)
  • Place Taken Paris
  • Credit Line Thomas Walther Collection. Abbott-Levy Collection funds, by exchange
  • MoMA Accession Number 1649.2001
  • Copyright © 2015 Estate of Claude Cahun

Back / Verso

  • Mount Type No mount
  • Provenance The artists; to the estate of Claude Cahun (Suzanne Malherbe), Isle of Jersey, Channel Islands, 1954 [1]; sold through Langlois Auction House, St. Helier, Isle of Jersey, to John Wakeham, Isle of Jersey, 1972 [2]; to Zabriskie Gallery, New York, c. 1992 [3]; to Ubu Gallery (Adam J. Boxer), New York, November 1992 [4]; purchased by Thomas Walther, 1996 [5]; purchased by The Museum of Modern Art, New York, 2001.
    [1] Adam J. Boxer, e-mail to Simon Bieling, June 22, 2005; and Louise Downie, ed., Don't Kiss Me: The Art of Claude Cahun and Marcel Moore (New York: Aperture Foundation, 2006), p. 7.
    [2] Boxer, e-mail to Bieling; and Downie, ed., Don't Kiss Me, p. 7.
    [3] Downie, ed., Don't Kiss Me, p. 7; Boxer, e-mail to Maria Morris Hambourg, November 25, 2013; Virginia Zabriskie, Zabriskie: Fifty Years (New York: Ruder Finn Press, 2004), p. 62; and Francois Leperlier, Claude Cahun: l'Écart et la métamorphose: Essai (Paris: Jean-Michel Place, 1992), pp. 38, 299.
    [4] Boxer, e-mail to Bieling; MacGill/Walther 2000, p. 7; Boxer, e-mail to Hambourg; and Zabriskie Gallery invoice no. 1550.
    [5] Boxer, e-mail to Hambourg.

Back Printing

Detail showing Velox brand logotype printed in ink on the verso of the photograph. In image processing, contrast was adjusted to enhance the readability of the logotype. The area of detail is 1 x 3 cm. Department of Conservation, MoMA


  • Surface Sheen Semireflective
  • Techniques Ferrotyping
    Contact print
  • PTM
    View of the recto of the artwork made using reflectance transformation imaging (RTI) software, which exaggerates subtle surface details and renders the features of the artwork plainly visible. Department of Conservation, MoMA
  • Micro-raking
    Raking-light close-up image, as shot. Area of detail is 6.7 x 6.7 mm. Department of Conservation, MoMA
    Raking-light close-up image, processed. Processing included removal of color, equalization of the histogram, and sharpening, all designed to enhance visual comparison. Department of Conservation, MoMA

Paper Material

  • Format Imperial
  • UV Fluorescence Recto negative
    Verso negative
  • Fiber Analysis Softwood bleached sulfite 56%
    Hardwood bleached sulfite 1%
    Rag 33%
    Bast 10%
  • Material Techniques Developing-out paper
    Back printing
    Gaslight paper
  • XRF

    This work was determined to be a gelatin silver print via X-ray fluorescence (XRF) spectrometry.

    The following elements have been positively identified in the work, through XRF readings taken from its recto and verso (or from the mount, where the verso was not accessible):

    • Recto: P, S, Ca, Zn, Sr, Ag, Ba
    • Verso: Al, P, S, Ca, Cr, Zn, Sr, Ba

    The graphs below show XRF spectra for three areas on the print: two of the recto—from areas of maximum and minimum image density (Dmax and Dmin)—and one of the verso or mount. The background spectrum represents the contribution of the XRF instrument itself. The first graph shows elements identified through the presence of their characteristic peaks in the lower energy range (0 to 8 keV). The second graph shows elements identified through the presence of their characteristic peaks in the higher energy range (8 to 40 keV).

    Areas examined: Recto (Dmax: black; Dmin: green), Verso or Mount (blue), Background (red)
    Elements identified: Al, P, S, Ca, Cr, Ag, Ba
    Areas examined: Recto (Dmax: black; Dmin: green), Verso or Mount (blue), Background (red)
    Elements identified: Zn, Sr, Ag

In Context

Related Images

Claude Cahun (Lucy Schwob). Untitled. c. 1928. Gelatin silver print, 4 9/16 x 3 1/2" (10 x 7.6 cm). The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Purchase and anonymous promised gift

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