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Jacqueline Lamba was born in 1910 in Sainte Mande, Seine, a suburb of Paris, and died on July 20, 1993, in Rochecorbon, France. She was a French painter and a prominent figure in the Surrealist movement, though her contributions were often overshadowed by her relationships with André Breton and other male Surrealist artists.
Lamba attended the École de L'Union Centrale des Arts Décoratifs on Rue Beethoven from October 1926 to June 1929. During her time at school, she created designs for books, homes, and advertising, as well as for large retail stores like Bon Marche and Trois Quartiers.
In the 1930s, Lamba's art began to gain recognition as she participated in several international Surrealist exhibitions. However, due to her relationship with André Breton, her work was often uncredited. In May 1935, Lamba showed two paintings at the International Surrealist Exhibitions but was not credited. She also participated in the Exhibition of Surrealist Objects in May 1936 and traveled with Breton to London for the International Surrealist Exhibition in June and July 1936.
Despite the lack of recognition in the catalogs, Lamba was included in several major exhibitions during the late 1930s and early 1940s, including the International Surrealist Exhibition at Galerie des Beaux-Arts in the Faubourg Saint-Honoré in 1938 and the Art of This Century Gallery exhibition in October 1942. Her artwork titled "No, he's only looking for it, I told myself" (1942) was exhibited in the Exhibition by 31 Women.
Jacqueline Lamba was married twice, first to André Breton and then to David Hare. She had a daughter, Aube, with Breton and a son, Meredith, with Hare. As a part of the Surrealist circles in Paris and New York, she had close relationships with Frida Kahlo, Claude Cahun, Suzanne Mahlerbe, Kay Sage, Dora Maar, and many other artists.
Following Lamba's request for a divorce from Breton in 1942, it is believed that he destroyed any artwork she left in Paris due to his anger and resentment. This event is emblematic of the struggles Lamba faced as a female artist within the male-dominated Surrealist movement.
Despite the challenges, Jacqueline Lamba's artwork remains an important part of the Surrealist movement. Her story is a testament to the resilience and talent of women artists who have often been overlooked in favor of their male counterparts. Today, her work is studied and admired for its unique contributions to the Surrealist movement and serves as an inspiration to future generations of artists.