Muses

Nancy Cunard (1896 - 1965)

An upper-class British, Nancy Cunard settled in Paris in 1920 and became a significant member of the Surrealist and Dada movements. The muse and lover of many writers such as Aldous Huxley and Louis Aragon, she launched The Hours Press, in 1928 to publish young experimental authors such as Samuel Beckett. Rejecting the traditional values of her social environment, she also greatly fought against fascism and racism: establishing a long romantic relationship with the black American jazz musician, Henry Crowder and publishing Negro: An Anthology, during the 1930s. Besides her rebellious and activist battles, Nancy Cunard was also a strikingly beautiful woman, inspiring Constantin Brancusi and establishing a bohemian-like dramatic fashion identity, piling stacks of African bracelets on her arms that evoked her passion for African art – her signature style entitled the 'barbaric look'. With a tragic taste for self-destruction, Nancy Cunard slowly declined and died insane and poor. She nonetheless remains the embodiment of the Jazz Age, a dissident heroine who 'hated fascism...and snobbery.'

Tags / Nancy Cunard - British - Muses - It Women - Literature - Art - Fashion - 1920s - Africa
Nancy Cunard, half-length portrait, side view with mirror reflection by Curtis Moffat, 1921
Nancy Cunard, half-length portrait, side view with mirror reflection by Curtis Moffat, 1921
Nancy Cunard by Wyndham Lewis, 1922, British Council
Nancy Cunard by Wyndham Lewis, 1922, British Council
Nancy Cunard with Louis Aragon and Taylor Gordon, 1932
Nancy Cunard with Louis Aragon and Taylor Gordon, 1932
Nancy Cunard by Curtis Moffat 1925 Copyright Victoria and Albert Museum
Nancy Cunard by Curtis Moffat 1925 Copyright Victoria and Albert Museum
Nancy Cunard by Curtis Moffat 1925 Copyright Victoria and Albert Museum
Nancy Cunard by Curtis Moffat 1925 Copyright Victoria and Albert Museum
Nancy Cunard by Man Ray, Nancy with bracelets, 1926
Nancy Cunard by Man Ray, Nancy with bracelets, 1926
Nancy Cunard by Curtis Moffat, 1925, Copyright Victoria and Albert Museum
Nancy Cunard by Curtis Moffat, 1925, Copyright Victoria and Albert Museum
Nancy Cunard and Janet Flanner, 1926, by anonymous
Nancy Cunard and Janet Flanner, 1926, by anonymous
Nancy Cunard by Cecil Beaton 1929 © Cecil Beaton Studio Archive, Sotheby's London
Nancy Cunard by Cecil Beaton 1929 © Cecil Beaton Studio Archive, Sotheby's London
Nancy Cunard by Curtis Moffat, 1925, Copyright Victoria and Albert Museum
Nancy Cunard by Curtis Moffat, 1925, Copyright Victoria and Albert Museum
Nancy Cunard, by Alvaro Guevara, oil on canvas, 213,7 x 1222,2, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne.
Nancy Cunard, by Alvaro Guevara, oil on canvas, 213,7 x 1222,2, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne.
Nancy Cunard by Man Ray , 1926
Nancy Cunard by Man Ray , 1926
Langston and Nancy Cunard, Paris, 1938, Beinecke Digital Collection
Langston and Nancy Cunard, Paris, 1938, Beinecke Digital Collection
Nancy Cunard 1920's
Nancy Cunard 1920's
Nancy Cunard 1920's
Nancy Cunard 1920's
Nancy Cunard by Curtis Moffat 1925 Copyright Victoria and Albert Museum
Nancy Cunard by Curtis Moffat 1925 Copyright Victoria and Albert Museum
Nancy Cunard by Curtis Moffat 1925 Copyright Victoria and Albert Museum
Nancy Cunard by Curtis Moffat 1925 Copyright Victoria and Albert Museum
Nancy Cunard by Cecil Beaton, 1926
Nancy Cunard by Cecil Beaton, 1926
Nancy Cunard by Cecil Beaton 1930
Nancy Cunard by Cecil Beaton 1930
Nancy Cunard by Cecil Beaton 1929 © Cecil Beaton Studio Archive, Sotheby's London
Nancy Cunard by Cecil Beaton 1929 © Cecil Beaton Studio Archive, Sotheby's London
Nancy Cunard by Henri Cartier-Bresson 1956 © Henri Cartier-Bresson / Magnum Photos
Nancy Cunard by Henri Cartier-Bresson 1956 © Henri Cartier-Bresson / Magnum Photos
Nancy Cunard by Cecil Beaton 1929 © Cecil Beaton Studio Archive, Sotheby's London
Nancy Cunard by Cecil Beaton 1929 © Cecil Beaton Studio Archive, Sotheby's London
Nancy Cunard by Cecil Beaton 1929 © Cecil Beaton Studio Archive, Sotheby's London
Nancy Cunard by Cecil Beaton 1929 © Cecil Beaton Studio Archive, Sotheby's London
Henry Crowder and Nancy Cunard by Anthony Wysard, watercolor 1928 © reserved; collection National Portrait Gallery, London
Henry Crowder and Nancy Cunard by Anthony Wysard, watercolor 1928 © reserved; collection National Portrait Gallery, London
Man Ray, Nancy with bracelets, 1926
Man Ray, Nancy with bracelets, 1926
Man Ray, Nancy with bracelets, 1926
Man Ray, Nancy with bracelets, 1926
Man Ray, Tristan Tzara kneeling to kiss Nancy Cunard's hand, Bal du Comte de Beaumont, 1924
Man Ray, Tristan Tzara kneeling to kiss Nancy Cunard's hand, Bal du Comte de Beaumont, 1924
Nancy Cunard by Islay Lyons, Capri, 1940's
Nancy Cunard by Islay Lyons, Capri, 1940's
Nancy Cunard, Harlem, 1932
Nancy Cunard, Harlem, 1932
Nancy Cunard by Curtis Moffat, 1925. Copyright Victoria and Albert Museum
Nancy Cunard by Curtis Moffat, 1925. Copyright Victoria and Albert Museum
Nancy Cunard by Curtis Moffat, 1925. Copyright Victoria and Albert Museum
Nancy Cunard by Curtis Moffat, 1925. Copyright Victoria and Albert Museum
Man Ray, Nancy with bracelets, 1926
Man Ray, Nancy with bracelets, 1926
close

Share this picture on