Claude Cahun and The Closet as a Prob

The closet is a metaphor for something hidden often undisclosed sexual orientation. We talk about a closeted person. I wonder if this term is as old as ‘the closet’ as a European furniture or if the Wikipedia researchers are right when they assume that expressions such as “in the closet” and “closeted” came into the gay culture and the English language in the 1950’ies.

There are not many old lesbians to ask if the term closeted was one that was used back in the 1920-30’ies. But I have found a photo of Claude Cahun (French lesbian artist) and her closet. The photo can be seen on page 62 of the book Claude Cahun Bilder by Schirer/Mosel 1997 (ISBN 3-88814-885-5)

It is a self portrait. The closet has drawers and shelves on top of the drawers. Both doors of the closet are open and we see Claude sleeping on one of the shelves.

As the Internet is updated all the time and pages disappear, I have found links to three pages which have published the photo of Claude Cahun in her closet – perhaps one of the pages is still there if you visit read this post some time in the future: