Lee Miller

Self Portrait, New York studio, New York, USA, 1932 © Lee Miller Archives, England 2016. All rights reserved.

Gallery

BIoGRAPHY

Lee Miller was born in 1907 in Poughkeepsie, New York USA and 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. She returned to New York in 1932, and again set up her own studio which ran for 2 years and was highly successful. It closed when she married a wealthy Egyptian businessman Aziz Eloui Bey and went to live with him in Cairo, Egypt. She became fascinated by long range desert travel and photographed desert villages and ruins. 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 1939 she left Egypt for London shortly before World War II broke out. She moved in with Roland Penrose and defying orders from the US Embassy to return to America she took a job as a freelance photographer on Vogue.

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 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. She billeted in both Hitler and Eva Braun’s houses in Munich, and photographed Hitler’s house Wachenfeld at Berchtesgaden in flames on the eve of Germany’s 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 work for Vogue for a further 2 years, covering fashion and celebrities. In 1947 she married Roland Penrose and contributed to his biographies of Picasso, Miro, Man Ray and Tapies. 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.

AWARDS | Recognitions

Exhibitions
Lee Miller Martin Gropius-Bau, Berlin, Germany 18 March – 12 June 2016
Lee Miller: A Woman’s War, Imperial War Museum, London, England 15 October 2015 – 24 April 2016
Lee Miller: Surealist Photographer, Museo de Arte Moderno ‘MAM’, Mexico City, Mexico 12 September 2015 – 21 February 2016
Lee Miller, NSU Art Museum, Fort Lauderdale, Florida, USA 4 October 2015 – 14 February 2016
Lee Miller and Picasso, Scottish National Portrait Gallery, Edinburgh, Scotland. 23 May – 6 September 2015
Lee Miller, Albertina Kunst Museum Palais, Vienna, Austria. 8 May – 26 August 2015
Lee Miller’s War, Djanogly Art Gallery, Nottingham, England. 29 November 2014 – 22 February 2015
Lee Miller: A Romanian Rhapsody, Ratiu Foundation, London, England. June -July 2014
Lee Miller’s James Joyce, The James Joyce Centre, Dublin, Ireland. 9 June – 10 December 2014
Lee Miller Archives – Print Room Sale, Brighton and Hove Artists Open Houses, The Friends Meeting House, Brighton, UK 10 & 11 and 17 & 18 May, 2014, 11 & 12 and 18 & 19 May, 2013
Lee Miller’s Surrealist Eye Kunstmuseet Brundlund Slot, 6200 Aabenraa 17 Jan 2013 – 12 May 2013
Picasso at Play Farley’s Barn Gallery 29 May to 26 July 2012
Through the Eyes of Lee Miller Lucy Bell Fine Art Photography, St Leonards on Sea, TN38 0EL, UK  20 March – 21 April 2012
Øregaard Museum, Denmark 19 Jan 2012 – 20 June 2012
Lee Miller & Picasso Dylan Thomas Festival, Wales 27 October 2011 – 19 Jan 2012
Man Ray and Lee Miller: Fine Arts Museum San Francisco July 14 – 7 Oct 2012
Partners in Surrealism Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, Mass. USA. June 11 – Dec 4 2011
The Legendary Lee Miller Centro Cultural Novacaixagalicia, Vigo, Spain – 22 Sept – 20 Nov 2011
Fundación Caixa Galicia, A Coruña Spain – 21 June – 11 Sept 2011
Lee Miller in Luxembourg Centre National de l’Audiovisuel. 5 March 2011 – 12 June 2011
Lee Millers War Visual Arts Centre, Frances Bardsley School, Chelmsford
4 Nov – 17 Dec 2009
The Legendary Lee Miller Jakopic Gallery, Ljubljana, Slovenia 22nd Nov 2010 to 9th of Jan 2011
Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Rijeka, Croatia
1 July 2010 – 16 August 2010
‘Scatti de Guerra’ – Scuderie del Quirinale, Rome 4 Jul – 23 Aug 2009
Lee Miller e Tony Vaccaro dallo sbarco in Normandia alla Liberazione
Lee Miller Surrealist Eye Stenersenmusset/Stenersten Museum, Oslo, Norway 19 Jun 2010 – 5 Sept 2010
Millesgården, Herserudsvägen 32, Sweden 14 Nov 2009 – 14 Feb 2010
Mjellby Konst Museum, Halmstadt, Sweden 14 Jun – 30 Aug 2009
The Legendary Lee Miller Moscow Fotofest, Moscow Museum 18 Mar – 29 Apr 2009
Lee Miller & Friends Pallant House Gallery, West Sussex 15 Jan – 29 Mar 2009
Lee Miller Y Picasso: TEA Tenerife 6 Feb – 24 May 2009
Evocación Y Recuerdo Fundacion Pablo Ruiz Picasso, Malaga 2 Oct 2008 – 15 Feb 2009
Picasso e a arte Portuguesa no séc – Sala Expo Arade, Portimao, Portugal – 21 Aug – 19 Oct 2008
Lee Miller & Picasso
Lee Miller Mini Portraits Mascalls Gallery, Kent 3 Nov – 13 Dec 2008
Lee Miller Mini Portraits The Oriental Gallery, Durham University 14 Jun – 14 Jul 2008
Lee Millers War Malmo Museer, Sweden 1 Jun – 7 Sept 2008
Lee Miller at Farley Farm Farley Yard Trust, Farley Yard Barn, Sussex 3 May – 31 July 2008
Lee Miller Manuel Barbie Gallery, Barcelona Feb – May 2008
The Art of Lee Miller: Jeu de Paume, Paris 14 Oct 2008 – 12 Jan 2009
SF MOMA, San Francisco 1 Jul – 21 Sept 2008
Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia 24 Jan – 27 Apr 2008
V & A Museum, London 14 Sept 2007 – 6 Jan 2008
Picasso en Privat Museo Picasso. Barcelona 1 Jun – 16 Sept 07
Lee Millers War Monash Gallery of Art, Australia 6 Jul – 2 Sept 2007
Auckland War Museum, New Zealand 23 Mar- 17 Jun 2007
Lee Miller: Un Regard Libre Musee de Grenoble, France 20 Oct – 12 Nov 2006
The Legendary Lee Miller Fundacion BBK, Bilbao, Spain 21 Aug – 30 Sept 2006
Lee Miller Mini Portraits Maison de la Photographie, Toulon 30 Sept 2005 – 14 Jan 2006
Lee Miller Portraits Kunstmuseum, Wolfsburg 9 Sept 2006 – 21 Jan 2007
National Portrait Gallery, London 3 Feb – 30 May 2005
Lee Millers War The Dylan Thomas Centre, Swansea 27 Oct – 30 Nov 2005
Lee Miller….A Retrospective Gammel Holtegaard Museum, Denmark 22 Jan – 6 Mar 2005
The Surrealists in Cornwall Falmouth Art Gallery – 19 Jun – 12 Sept 2004
Lee Miller, Portraits from a Life Wingfield Arts 21 June – 28th Sept 2003
Lee Miller ‘Muse’ West Dean College, West Sussex Apr – May 2003
Real/Surreal The Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester 23 Jan – 27 Apr 2003
Surrealist Muse: Lee Miller, Roland Penrose and Man Ray
J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, USA 25 Feb – 15 June 2003
Lee Miller Fashion Photography Sussex Downs College 4 Mar – 15 Mar 2002
The Surrealist and the Photographer Bermuda National Art Gallery 16 May – 28 September 2003
Taidemuseo Tennispalatsi, Helsinki 26 Feb – 21 Apr 2002
The Irish Gallery of Photography, Dublin 3 Dec 2001 – 31 Jan 2002
Scottish National Gallery, Edinburgh 19 May – 9 Sept 2001
A Life Less Ordinary The Photographers Gallery, London 30 Dec 2000 – 27 Jan 2001
Lee Miller & The Avant Garde West Dean College, West Sussex 26 – 28th May 2000
The Legendary Lee Miller
Canada Tour University of Toronto Art Centre, Toronto, Canada 8 Apr – 30 June 2000
Presentation House Gallery, Vancouver, Canada 8 Jan – 20 Feb 2000
Lee Miller’s War The Photo Fair, Swedish Exhibition Centre, Gotenburg 14 Oct – 17 Oct 1999
The Lee Miller Exhibition The Dylan Thomas Centre, Swansea 23 Jul – 18 Aug 1999
The Legendary Lee Miller Ivan Dougherty Gallery, College of Fine Arts, University of NSW
Australia Tour 4 Mar – 17 Apr 1999
The Ian Potter Museum of Art, University of Melbourne 21 July – 5 Sept 1999
The Legendary Lee Miller Aotea Centre Auckland 15 Jan – 20 Feb 1999
New Zealand Tour Waikato Museum of Art & History Hamilton 24 Oct – 6 Dec 1998
City Gallery Wellington 1 Aug – 4 Oct 1998
Govett-Brewster Art Gallery – 23 May – 5 July 1998
Robert McDougall Art Gallery Christchurch – 25 Feb – 26 Apr 1998
Lee Miller’s War, Photographs 1944-1945 Pelham House, Lewes 25 Apr – 4 May 1998
Lee Miller’s War Tour of UK & Europe
Europe Tour Centre d’Histoire de la Résistance, Lyon 23 Apr 1997 – 27 July 1997
Stadtmuseum Gera, Fera 3 Mar 1997 – 7 Apr 1997
Kulturamt der Stadt Freiburg i.Br., Freiburg i.Br., 10 Jan 1997 – 23 Feb 1997
Kulturamt des Landkreises Eichsfeld, Heiligenstadt 11 Oct 1996 –10 Nov 1996
Stadtmuseum Waldraiburg, Walkdraiburg 9 May 1996 – 16 June 1996
Kunsthalle Dominikanerkirche, Osnabrück 3 Mar 1996 – 7 Apr 1996
Frauenmuseum Bonn, Bonn 9 Dec 1995 – 28 Jan 1996
Kulturzentrum Zehntscheuer E.V, Rottenburg aN 19 Sept 1995 to 22 Oct 1995
Volkshochschule Leer, Leer 13 Aug 1995 – 3 Sept 1995
Städtische Galerie Erlangen, Erlangen 8 Jul 1995 – 6 Aug 1995
Centre National de l’Audiovisuel, Dudelange 9 June 1995 – 21.June 1995
UK Tour Kelvin Grove, Glasgow Dec – Jan 1994
Graves Art Gallery, Sheffield Oct – Nov 1993
University of East Anglia, Norwich 25 Apr – 11 July 1993
Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts
Sunderland 15 Feb – 21 Mar 1993
Gardner Centre, Brighton 11 Jan – 6 Feb 1993
Institute of Contemporary Arts, London 28 July 1992 – 30 Aug 1992
Lee Miller Photographer Extensive European Tour Brandenburgische Kunstsammlungen, Cottbus 29 Oct – 4 Dec 1994
Kunstverein Coburg e.V., Coburg 18 Sept – 16 Oct 1994
Galerie am Fischmarkt, Erfurt 5 Jul – 7 Aug 1994
Württembergischer Kustverein, Stuttgart 12 May – 19 June 1994
L’Espace Photographique de Paris, Paris 29 Mar – 1 May 1994
Historisches Museum der Pflatz, Speyer 16 Jan – 13 Mar 1994
Fotografie Forum, Frankifurt 20 Nov 1993 – 6 Jan 1994
Museo di Storia della Fotografia, Florence 24 Sept – 31 Oct 1993
America Haus, Berlin 1 Aug – 9 Sept 1993
Fotomuseum Stadtmuseum, Munich 16 June – 31 July 1993
Museum für Kunst und Gerwerbe, Hamburg 2 Apr – 23 May 1993
Helsinki, Finland 19 Feb – 21 Mar 1993
Lathi, Finland Jan – Feb 1993
Stedelijk, Amsterdam 7 Nov – 13 Dec 1992
Museum Ludwig, Cologne 15 Sept – 1 Nov 1992
Lee Miller Photographer: Fundacio Joan Miro, Barcelona, Spain April – June 1991
Yokohama Museum of Art, Japan Jan – Feb 1991
Lee Miller Photographer: Santa Monica Museum of Art, USA Aug – Sep 1990
US Tour The Art Institute of Chicago, USA June – Aug 1990
International Centre of Photography Midtown, USA April – June 1990
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, USA Feb – April 1990
Minneapolis Institute of Art, USA Nov 1989 – Jan 1990
New Orleans Museum of Art, USA July – Aug 1989
The Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington DC, USA Feb – April 1989
Lee Miller in Eastern Europe Staley-Wise Gallery, New York 20 Apr – 19 May 1990
Lee Miller Photographer Zelda Cheatle Gallery, London 9 May – 2 Jun 1989
Picasso by Lee Miller Auckland City Art Gallery, New Zealand 22 Sept – 12 Nov 1989
Lee Miller Photographers’ Gallery, London Jan – Feb 1986
The Lives of Lee Miller Staley-Wise Gallery, New York, USA Nov 1985 – Feb 1986
Lee Miller in Sussex The Arts Centre, Darlington 6 Oct – 10 Nov 1986
Leeds City Gallery, Leeds Aug – Sept 1986
Chesil Gallery, Chiswell, Dorset 1 Jul – 31 Jul 1986
Ramsgate Library, Ramsgate, Kent 20 Nov – 17 Dec 1985
Worthing Museum & Art Gallery, Worthing 20 Jul – 17 Aug 1985
South Hill Park, Bracknell 13 Apr – 26 May 1985
Royal Museum and Art Gallery, Canterbury Feb – March 1985
Southampton Municipal Gallery, Southampton 12 Jan – 17 Feb 1985
Museum of Modern Art, Oxford 7 Oct – 2 Dec 1984
Hastings Photo Gallery, St Leonards on Sea, Sussex 30 June – 28 July 1984
Gardner Centre, Sussex, England May 1984
Picasso’s Gaze Photographers’ Gallery, London May 1984
Lee Miller Mayor Gallery, London -Feb 1978
Julien Levy Gallery New York, USA 1933

Collections
Victoria and Albert Museum, London, England.
New Orleans
Philadelphia

PUBLICATIONS

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