“Lee Miller: A Woman’s War”


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“Lee Miller: A Woman’s War,” a new major exhibition at the Imperial War Museum (IWM) in London, on display until April 24, 2016, highlights Vogue model-turned-WW II photographer Lee Miller’s view of women’s experiences in World War II, on the 70th anniversary of the war’s end.
Elizabeth “Lee” Miller was an American photographer. During the Second World War, she became an acclaimed war correspondent for Vogue, covering events such as the London Blitz, the liberation of Paris, and the concentration camps at Buchenwald and Dachau.
Fire masks, Hampstead, London, 1941. One of Miller’s most famous war shots, this was part of a Vogue feature to show how British women were coping with the war. Photograph The Lee Miller Archives

Fire mask  Hampstead-London-1941 . Photograph: The Lee Miller Archives.

This exhibition focuses specifically her vision of gender during the conflict, examining the vital role women played throughout the period and the sizeable impact it had on their mobilised position in society.
It includes photographs, objects, works of art and ephemera, many of which have never been displayed before.
Lee Miller in Hitler's bath, Hitler's apartment, Munich

Lee Miller in Hitlers bath. Munich

This incredible selection is presented in collaboration with the Lee Miller Archive, and cements her position as one of the most important photographers of the 20th century.

Imperial War Museum

Lambeth Rd
London

Until April 24, 2016 

Who Was Lee Miller? (1907-1977)

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Lee Miller first entered the world of photography in New York as a model to the great photographers of the day such as Edward Steichen, Hoyningen-Huene and Arnold Genthe.
In 1929 she went to Paris and worked with the well known Surrealist artist and photographer Man Ray, and succeeded in establishing her own studio. She became known as a portraitist and fashion photographer, but her most enduring body of work is that of her Surrealist images.
During a visit to Paris in 1937 she met Roland Penrose, the Surrealist artist who was to become her second husband, and travelled with him to Greece and Romania.
In 1944 she became a correspondent accredited to the US Army, and teamed up with Time Life photographer David E. Scherman. She followed the US troops overseas on D Day + 20. She was probably the only woman combat photo-journalist to cover the front line war in Europe and among her many exploits she witnessed the siege of St Malo, the Liberation of Paris, the fighting in Luxembourg and Alsace, the Russian/American link up at Torgau, the liberation of Buchenwald and Dachau. S
She billeted in both Hitler and Eva Brauns houses in Munich, and photographed Hitlers house Wachenfeld at Berchtesgaden in flames on the eve of Germanys surrender. Penetrating deep into Eastern Europe, she covered harrowing scenes of children dying in Vienna, peasant life in post war Hungary and finally the execution of Prime Minister Lazlo Bardossy.
After the war she continued to contribute to Vogue for a further 2 years, covering fashion and celebrities. In 1947 she married Roland Penrose and contributed to his biographies of Picasso, Miró, Man Ray and Tàpies. Some of her portraits of famous artists like Picasso are the most powerful portraits of the individuals ever produced, but it is mainly for the witty Surrealist images which permeate all her work that she is best remembered.
Lee Miller died at Farley Farm House in 1977.
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