Lee Miller

Floating Head, Mary Taylor, NYC, USA, 1933 © Lee Miller Archives, England 2018. All rights reserved

Gallery

BIoGRAPHY

Lee Miller was born in 1907 in Poughkeepsie, New York 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 two years and was highly successful. It closed when she married 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 for 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 likely the only woman combat photojournalist 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 another two 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. Lee Miller died at Farley Farm House in 1977.

SELECTED EXHIBITIONS

2022   Love Stories from the National Portrait Gallery, London, Worcester Art Museum, Worcester, Mass., USA (13 Nov. 2021–13 March)
2022
 The Woman Who Broke Boundaries: Photographer Lee Miller, Salvador Dali Museum, St. Petersburg, Florida, USA (3 July 2021–2 Jan)
2021  Roland Penrose & Lee Miller: The Road Is Wider Than Long, Farleys House & Gallery, Sussex, UK (20 May–31 Oct.)
2021  Enfin Seules: Photographs from the Archive of Modern Conflict, The Grand Duke Jean Museum of Modern Art, Luxembourg (1 May–19 Sept.)
2021  Lee Miller: A Photographer Between War and Glamor, Museum für Gestaltung Zürich (28 Aug. 2020–3 Jan.)
2020  Lee Miller: To Believe It, Kunsthalle Erfurt, Germany (9 Aug.–18 Oct.)
2020  Women War Photographers: From Lee Miller to Anja Niedringhaus, Fotomuseum Winterthur, Switzerland (29 Feb.–30 Aug.)
2019  Modern Couples: Art, Intimacy and the Avant-garde, Barbican Art Gallery, London (10 Oct. 2018–27 Jan.)
2019  Lee Miller and Surrealism in Britain, Fundació Joan Miró, Barcelona (31 Oct. 2018–20 Jan.)
2018  Modern Couples, Centre Pompidou Metz, France (28 April–20 Aug.)
2018  Lee Miller: Picasso Portraits, The Lightbox, Surrey, UK (14 April–17 June)
2018  Dreamers Awake, White Cube, London (28 June–17 Sept.)
2017  Mad About Surrealism, Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam (11 Feb.–28 May)
2017  Lee Miller: Last Gallery Show, Galerie Hiltawsky, Berlin (17 March–6 May)
2017  Surrealist Women, Mayoral, Barcelona (13 Jan.–1 April)
2016  Lee Miller–Photographs, Martin-Gropius-Bau, Berlin (18 March12 June)
2016  Lee Miller: A Woman’s War, Imperial War Museum, London (15 Oct. 201524 April)
2016  Lee Miller: Surrealist Photographer, Museo de Arte Moderno, Mexico City, (12 Sept. 201521 Feb.)
2016  Lee Miller, NSU Art Museum, Fort Lauderdale, Florida (4 Oct. 201514 Feb.)
2015  Lee Miller and Picasso, Scottish National Portrait Gallery, Edinburgh (23 May6 Sept.)
2015  Lee Miller, Albertina Kunst Museum Palais, Vienna (8 May26 Aug.)
2015  Lee Miller’s War, Djanogly Art Gallery, Nottingham, England (29 Nov. 201422 Feb.)
2014  Lee Miller: A Romanian Rhapsody, Ratiu Foundation, London (JuneJuly)
2014  Lee Miller’s James Joyce, The James Joyce Centre, Dublin (9 June10 Dec.)
2013  Lee Miller’s Surrealist Eye, Kunstmuseet Brundlund Slot, Aabenraa, Denmark (17 Jan.12 May)
2012  Picasso at Play, Farleys House & Gallery, Sussex, UK (29 May26 July)
2012  Through the Eyes of Lee Miller, Lucy Bell Gallery, St Leonards-on-Sea (20 March21 April)
2012  Lee Miller’s Surrealist Eye, Øregaard Museum, Denmark (19 Jan.20 June)
2012  Lee Miller & Picasso, Dylan Thomas Festival, Wales (27 Oct. 201119 Jan.)
2012  Man Ray | Lee Miller: Partners in Surrealism, Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco (July 147 Oct.)
2011  Man Ray | Lee Miller: Partners in Surrealism Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, Mass. (June 11–Dec. 4)
2011  The Legendary Lee Miller, Centro Cultural Novacaixagalicia, Vigo, Spain (22 Sept.–20 Nov.);
Fundación Caixa Galicia, A Coruña, Spain (21 June–11 Sept.)
2011  Correspondances d’un No Man’s Land, Etape 1944, Centre National de l’Audiovisuel, Luxembourg (5 March–12 June)
2011  The Legendary Lee Miller, Jakopic Gallery, Ljubljana, Slovenia (22 Nov. 2010–9 Jan)
2010  Lee Miller, Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Rijeka, Croatia (1 July–16 Aug.)
2010  Lee Miller’s Surrealist Eye, Stenersenmusset/Stenersten Museum, Oslo (19 June–5 Sept.);
Millesgården, Herserudsvägen 32, Sweden (14 Nov. 2009–14 Feb.)
2009  Lee Miller | Tony Vaccaro: Shots of War, Scuderie del Quirinale, Rome (4 July–23 Aug.)
2009  Lee Miller’s War, Visual Arts Centre, Frances Bardsley School, Chelmsford, UK (4 Nov.–17 Dec.)
2009  Mjellby Konst Museum, Halmstadt, Sweden (14 June – 30 Aug.)
2009  The Legendary Lee Miller, Moscow Fotofest, Moscow Museum (18 March–29 April)
2009  Lee Miller & Friends, Pallant House Gallery, West Sussex, UK (15 Jan.–29 March)
2009  Lee Miller y Picasso, TEA Tenerife, Spain (6 Feb.–24 May)
2009  Evocación Y Recuerdo, Fundacion Pablo Ruiz Picasso, Malaga (2 Oct. 2008–15 Feb.)
2008  Picasso e a arte Portuguesa no séc, Sala Expo Arade, Portimao, Portugal (21 Aug.–19 Oct.)
2008  Lee Miller: Portraits, Mascalls Gallery, Kent, UK (3 Nov.–13 Dec.)
2008  Lee Miller Mini Portraits, The Oriental Gallery, Durham University (14 June–14 July)
2008  Lee Miller’s War, Malmo Museer, Sweden (1 June–7 Sept.)
2008  Lee Miller at Farley Farm, Farleys House & Gallery, Sussex, UK (3 May–31 July)
2008  Lee Miller, Manuel Barbie Gallery, Barcelona (Feb.–May)
2009  The Art of Lee Miller, Jeu de Paume, Paris (14 Oct. 2008–12 Jan.)
2008  The Art of Lee Miller, SF MOMA, San Francisco (1 July–21 Sept.); Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia (24 Jan.–27 April); V & A Museum, London (14 Sept. 2007–6 Jan.)
2007  Lee Miller: Picasso en Privat, Museo Picasso, Barcelona (1 June–16 Sept.)
2007  Lee Miller’s War, Monash Gallery of Art, Australia (6 July–2 Sept.); Auckland War Museum, New Zealand (23 March–17 June)
2007  Lee Miller: Portraits, Kunstmuseum, Wolfsburg (9 Sept. 2006–21 Jan.)
2006  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: Portraits, Maison de la Photographie, Toulon (30 Sept 2005–14 Jan.)
2005  Lee Miller: Portraits, National Portrait Gallery, London (3 Feb.–30 May)
2005  Lee Miller’s War, The Dylan Thomas Centre, Swansea, UK (27 Oct.–30 Nov.)
2005  Lee Miller….A Retrospective, Gammel Holtegaard Museum, Denmark (22 Jan.–6 March)
2004  The Surrealists in Cornwall, Falmouth Art Gallery (19 June–12 Sept.)
2003  Lee Miller, Portraits from a Life, Wingfield Arts, Suffolk, UK (21 June–28 Sept.)
2003  Lee Miller, ‘Muse’,  West Dean College, West Sussex, UK (April–May)
2003  Real/Surreal, The Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester (23 Jan.–27 April)
2003  Surrealist Muse: Lee Miller, Roland Penrose and Man Ray, J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, USA (25 Feb.–15 June)
2002  Lee Miller: Fashion Photography, Sussex Downs College, Eastbourne, UK (4–15 March)
2003  The Surrealist and the Photographer, Bermuda National Gallery, Bermuda (16 May–28 Sept.)
2002  Lee Miller, Taidemuseo Tennispalatsi, Helsinki (26 Feb.–21 April); The Irish Gallery of Photography, Dublin (3 Dec. 2001–31 Jan.)
2001  Lee Miller, Scottish National Gallery, Edinburgh (19 May–9 Sept.)
2001  A Life Less Ordinary, The Photographers Gallery, London (30 Dec. 2000–27 Jan.)
2000  Lee Miller & The Avant-Garde, West Dean College, West Sussex, UK
2000  The Legendary Lee Miller, University of Toronto Art Centre, Toronto (8 April–30 June); Presentation House Gallery, Vancouver  (8 Jan.–20 Feb.)
1999  Lee Miller’s War, The Photo Fair, Swedish Exhibition Centre, Gotenburg (14–17 Oct.)
1999  The Lee Miller Exhibition, The Dylan Thomas Centre, Swansea, UK (23 July–18 Aug.)
1999  The Legendary Lee Miller, Ivan Dougherty Gallery, College of Fine Arts, University of NSW, Australia (4 March–17 April); The Ian Potter Museum of Art, University of Melbourne (21 July–5 Sept.)
1998  The Legendary Lee Miller, Aotea Centre, Auckland (15 Jan.–20 Feb.); Robert McDougall Art Gallery, Christchurch (25 Feb–26 Apr); City Gallery Wellington (1 Aug.–4 Oct.); Waikato Museum of Art & History, Hamilton (24 Oct.–6 Dec.)
1998  Lee Miller’s War, Photographs 1944-1945, Pelham House, Lewes, UK (25 April–4 May)
1992-1998  Lee Miller’s War (European tour):
Centre d’Histoire de la Résistance, Lyon (23 April–27 July 1997)
Stadtmuseum, Gera, Germany (3 March–7 April 1997)
Kulturamt der Stadt Freiburg, Freiburg, Germany (10 Jan.–23 Feb. 1997)
Kulturamt des Landkreises Eichsfeld, Heiligenstadt, Austria (11 Oct.–10 Nov. 1996)
Stadtmuseum Waldraiburg, Walkdraiburg, Germany (9 May–16 June 1996)
Kunsthalle Dominikanerkirche, Osnabrück, Germany (3 March–7 April 1996)
Frauenmuseum Bonn, Bonn, Germany (9 Dec.1995–28 Jan. 1996)
Kulturzentrum Zehntscheuer E.V, Rottenburg, Germany (19 Sept.–22 Oct. 1995)
Volkshochschule Leer, Leer, Germany (13 Aug.–3 Sept. 1995)
Städtische Galerie Erlangen, Erlangen, Germany (8 July–6 Aug. 1995)
Centre National de l’Audiovisuel, Dudelange, Luxembourg (9–21 June 1995)
Kelvin Grove, Glasgow (Dec. 1993–Jan. 1994)
Graves Art Gallery, Sheffield, UK (Oct.–Nov. 1993)
University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK (25 April–11 July 1993)
Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts, Sunderland, UK (15 Feb.–21 March 1993)
Gardner Centre, Brighton, UK (11 Jan.–6 Feb. 1993)
Institute of Contemporary Arts, London (28 July–30 Aug. 1992)
1989-1994  Lee Miller: Photographer (International Tour):
Brandenburgische Kunstsammlungen, Cottbus, Germany (29 Oct.–4 Dec 1994)
Kunstverein Coburg, Coburg, Germany (18 Sept.–16 Oct. 1994)
Galerie am Fischmarkt, Erfurt, Germany (5 July–7 Aug. 1994)
Württembergischer Kustverein, Stuttgart (12 May–19 June 1994)
L’Espace Photographique de Paris, Paris (29 March–1 May 1994)
Historisches Museum der Pflatz, Speyer, Germany (16 Jan.–13 March 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 April–23 May 1993)
Helsinki, Finland (19 Feb.–21 March 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 (April–June 1991)
Yokohama Museum of Art, Japan (Jan.–Feb. 1991)
1989-1990  Lee Miller: Photographer (US Tour):
Santa Monica Museum of Art, California (Aug.–Sept. 1990)
The Art Institute of Chicago (June–Aug. 1990)
International Centre of Photography, New York (April–June 1990)
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (Feb.–April 1990)
Minneapolis Institute of Art (Nov. 1989–Jan. 1990)
New Orleans Museum of Art (July–Aug. 1989)
The Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington DC (Feb.–April 1989)
1990  Lee Miller in Eastern Europe, Staley-Wise Gallery, New York (20 April–19 May)
1989  Lee Miller: Photographer, Zelda Cheatle Gallery, London (9 May–2 June)
1989  Picasso by Lee Miller, Auckland City Art Gallery, New Zealand (22 Sept.–12 Nov.)
1986  Lee Miller, Photographers’ Gallery, London (Jan.–Feb.)
1986  The Lives of Lee Miller, Staley-Wise Gallery, New York (Nov. 1985–Feb.)
1986  Lee Miller in Sussex, The Arts Centre, Darlington, UK (6 Oct.–10 Nov.)
1986  Leeds City Gallery, Leeds, UK (Aug.–Sept.)
1986  Chesil Gallery, Chiswell, Dorset, UK (1 July–31 July)
1985  Ramsgate Library, Ramsgate, Kent, UK (20 Nov.–17 Dec.)
1985  Worthing Museum & Art Gallery, Worthing, UK (20 July–17 Aug.)
1985  South Hill Park, Bracknell, UK (13 April–26 May)
1985  Royal Museum and Art Gallery, Canterbury, UK (Feb.–March)
1985  Southampton Municipal Gallery, Southampton, UK (12 Jan.–17 Feb.)
1984  Museum of Modern Art, Oxford (7 Oct.–2 Dec.)
1984  Hastings Photo Gallery, St Leonards-on-Sea, Sussex, UK (30 June–28 July)
1984  Gardner Centre, Sussex, UK (May)
1984  Picasso’s Gaze, Photographers’ Gallery, London (May)
1978  Lee Miller, Mayor Gallery, London (Feb.)
1932  Modern European Photography, Julien Levy Gallery, New York, (Feb.–March)

PUBLIC COLLECTIONS

The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles
Victoria and Albert Museum, London
New Orleans Museum of Art, New Orleans
Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia