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Nancy Cunard: a true commitment to style

11.06.2014 | It makes my day

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© Man Ray

What am I to say about myself? I love peace, the countryside, republican Spain and anti-fascist Italy, Blacks and their African and Afro-American culture, all the Latin America that I know, music, art, poetry, and journalism.” 

Nancy Cunard, Poems for France, published 1944, later published in French as Poèmes à la France, 1947.

It would be impossible to pass this tribal-themed week without taking a moment to consider Nancy Cunard, English icon of the 1920s. With her aristocratic composure, she had a highly individual and daring style, with an innate sense for modernity. She was a fierce campaigner for black communities, with an unceasing desire to draw attention to black culture and social conditions, particularly with the publication of the highly controversial and ground-breaking Negro Anthology. She had a passion for African art and began a vast collection with the encouragement of Louis Aragon, one of her many lovers. Her most prized pieces included ivory cuffs that she proudly displayed stacked on her arms as a symbol of the cause that she defended so vehemently. Passionate, non-conformist, and artist as well as muse, I greatly admire the exceptional aura of this iconic woman and pioneer of wearing cuffs on both arms!

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L'Atlantique noir de Nancy Cunard, Negro anthologie, Gradhiva numéro 19, Musée du Quai Branly.
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