Art of the 20th Century



 




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Lee Miller






Self-Portrait
1932

 

Lee Miller

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
 

Elizabeth 'Lee' Miller (23 April 1907 - 21 July 1977) was an American photographer. Born in Poughkeepsie, New York State in 1907, she was a successful fashion model in New York City in the 1920s before going to Paris to become a fashion and fine art photographer. During the Second World War, she became an acclaimed war correspondent and photojournalist.

Her father, Theodor Miller, an engineer and businessman, introduced Lee to photography. She was his model--many pictures in the nude--and he also showed her technical aspects of the art. At age 19 she was stopped from walking in front of a car on a Manhattan street by magazine publisher Condé Nast, thus launching her modeling career. For the next two years, she was one of the most sought after models in New York, photographed by the likes of Edward Steichen, George Hoyningen-Huene, and Horst P. Horst. Her picture advertising a female hygienic product (Kotex) caused a scandal.

In 1929 she traveled to Paris with the intention of learning photography from the surrealist artist and photographer Man Ray. Although he first tried to demur, insisting that he did not take students, Miller soon became his photography assistant, as well as his lover and muse. While she was in Paris, she began her own photographic studio. Together with Man Ray, she invented the photographic technique of solarization. She was a major participant in the surrealist movement, with her witty images. Amongst her circle of friends were Pablo Picasso, Paul Éluard, Jean Cocteau, Gertrude Stein, and Alice B. Toklas. She appeared in one film, Cocteau's The Blood of a Poet (1930).

After leaving Man Ray and Paris in 1932, she returned to New York and established a portrait and commercial photography studio with her brother Erik as her business partner. Among her portrait clients were artist Joseph Cornell and the African-American cast of the Virgil Thomson-Gertrude Stein opera Four Saints in Three Acts (1934).

In 1934, she abandoned her studio to marry Egyptian businessman Aziz Eloui Bey who had come to New York to buy equipment for the Egyptian Railways. Although she did not work as a professional photographer during this period, the photographs she took while living in Egypt with Bey are regarded as some of her most striking surrealist images. By 1937, Lee had grown bored with her life in Cairo and she returned to Paris, where she was to meet her future husband, the surrealist painter and curator Roland Penrose.

With the outbreak of the Second World War, Miller had separated from Bey and was living in London when the bombing of that city began. Ignoring pleas from friends and family that she return to the US, she embarked on a new career in photojournalism as the official photographer for Vogue documenting the Blitz and was accredited to the U.S. Army as a war correspondent for Condé Nast Publications from 1944. She teamed up with David E. Scherman, a Life Magazine correspondent on many assignments. Miller travelled to France less than a month after D-Day and recorded the first use of napalm at the battle of St. Malo, the liberation of Paris, the battle for Alsace, and the horror of the Nazi concentration camps when the victims were liberated. A photograph by Scherman of Miller in the bathtub of Adolf Hitler's house in Munich is particularly well-known.

After the war she appeared exhausted, drank, and uncertain about her future. She travelled doing post-war assignments in Denmark and Hungary. She met Penrose again in 1946, and she returned with him to the United States where she visited Man Ray in California. After she conceived her son, she divorced Bey and, on May 3, 1947 married Penrose. In September 1947 they had a son, Antony Penrose. In 1949, they bought Farley Farm House in Sussex. During the 1950s and 1960s, Farley Farm became a sort of Mecca for visiting artists such as Picasso, Man Ray, Henry Moore, Eileen Agar, Jean Dubuffet, Dorothea Tanning, and Max Ernst. While Miller did the occasional photo shoot for Vogue, she soon put her camera down for good except for an occasional picture of visitors. She took up gourmet cooking, but appeared depressed. Her son described it later as a "downward spiral" that may have been accelerated by her husband's long affair with the trapez artist Diane Deriaz. She rarely talked about her war experiences.

Miller died from cancer at Farley Farm House in Chiddingly, Sussex in 1977, aged 70.



 


Lee Miller


 


Enrique Rivero and Lee Miller, a still from Blood of a Poet (Un Sang d'un poet),
Paris, France, 1930

 


Lee Miller as the statue in Jean Cocteau's Blood of a Poet (Un Sang d'un poet),
Paris, France, 1930

 


Lee Miller as the statue in Jean Cocteau's Blood of a Poet (Un Sang d'un poet),
Paris, France, 1930

 


Lee Miller
1930

 


Lee Miller

 


Emmanuel Rudnitsky
Lee Miller
1932


 


Lee Miller


 


Man Ray
Lee Miller


 


Man Ray
Lee Miller


 


Dave Scherman
Lee Miller
1944


 


Lee Miller
1944


 


Lee Miller
1944

 



Lee Miller  -  photographer

 


1929
Hand reaching for umbrella fringe
Paris France

 


1930
Solarised portrait of a woman
Paris France

 


1930
Exploding Hand
Paris France

 


1930
Charlie Chaplin
Paris France
 


1931
Tanja Ramm
Paris France

 


1932
Woman with hand on head
Paris France

 


1932
Fashion study
Paris France


1932
Rats Tails
Paris France

 

 

 


1933
Woman with furs
New York

 


1933
Unknown woman
New York

 


1933
Mary Chess
New York


1933
Joseph Cornell
New York

 


1933
Gertrude Lawrence
New York

 


1933
Fredrick Ashton , New York Studio
New York

 


1933
Lilian Harvey, film star
New York

 


1933
Scent Bottles
New York

 


1933
Dorothy Hill, solarized portrait
New York U.S.A.

 


1933
'Floating head' Portrait of Mary Taylor
New York U.S.A.

 


1933
Floating head (Mary Taylor), New York

 


1935
Desert village
Egypt

 


1935
Monastery of Wadi Natrun
Egypt

 


1936
Cotton sacks
Assyut Egypt

 


1936
Oasis village
Egypt

 


1936
Draw bridge, Wadi Natrun Monastery
Egypt


 


1937
The Shadow of the Great Pyramid
Egypt

 


1937
Boy carrying basket
Egypt

 


Eileen Agar with 'The Golden Tooth'

 


Eileen at Brighton Pavilion in 1937
 


1937
Bleached Snail Shells
Egypt

 


1937
Street scene in Cairo
Egypt

 


1937
Portrait of space
Near Siwa Egypt

 


1937
Pigeon Towers II
Assyut Egypt

 


1937
Dora Maar
 

 


1937
E.L.T. Mesens, Max Ernst, Leonora Carrington
and Paul Eluard
Lamb Creek, Cornwall England

 


1937
Picnic at Mougins
France

 


1937
Nusch Eluard
 France

 


1937
Picasso

 


1937
Picasso and Roland Penrose
Mougins, France

 


1938
House with straw pyramids
Romania

 


1938
Woman and bee hives
Romania

 


1938
Girl playing mountain horn
Romania

 


1938
Harvest Festival
Romania

 


1938
Boy playing a flute
Romania

 


1938
Children performing raindance
Romania

 


1938
Street in Bucharest
Romania

 


1938
On the road
Romania

 


1938
Dancing bear and musicians
Romania

 


1938
Reeds on a cart
Romania

 


1940
Medium Price Fashion
London England

 


1940
Charles Hawtrey
London

 


1940
Revenge on Culture
London England

 


1940
Non-Conformist Chapel
London England

 


1940
Eggceptional Achievement
London England

 


1940
One Night of Love
London England

 


1940
Remington Silent
London England

 


1940
Bridge of Sighs
London England

 


1940
Piano by Broadwood, London

 


1941
Fire Masks - mask and eye shield worn as
protection from incendiary bombs Downshire Hill
London England

 


1942 March
Export Fashion Assignment.
London England

 


1942
Hats Fashion Assignment
London England

 


1943
Wren abroad a launch, from 'Wrens in Camera'

 


1943
Thirty Seconds from Deck to Deck
 from 'Wrens in Camera'
 


1943
David E. Scherman
London England


 


1943
Moving Ships from 'Wrens in Camera'
 


1943
Torpedo Maintenance, from 'Wrens in Camera'

 


1943
Marta Gelhorn
 

 


1943
ATS Searchlight operators
England


 


1943
Henry Moore in Holborn underground station in London
September

 


1944
Ordnance Wrens servicing the Coastal crafts small arms,
from 'Wrens in Camera'
 


1944
Fred Astaire with showgirls
Paris France

 


1944
Jean Cocteau at Palais Royal
Paris France

 


1944
Colette
Paris France

1944
Jean Cocteau
Paris, France


 


1944
Jean Cocteau and Jean Marais, Palais Royal
Paris, France
 


1944
Off-duty nurses relaxing, 44th Evac Hospital
Normandy France

 


1944
Paul & Nusch Eluard in Zervo's apartment
Paris France

 


1944
Nusch Eluard
Mougins, France

 


1944
Marlene Dietrich
Paris, September

 


1944
Marlene Dietrich
Paris France

 


1944
Model preparing for a millinery salon, Salon Rose Descat
Paris France

 


1944
'Airborne' - Radio Mechanic from 'Wrens in Camera'

 


1944
'Ready for Action', servicing the guns from 'Wrens in Camera'

 


1944
Evacuation Hospital Operating Theatre
France


 


1944
Surgeon using Bronchoscope, 44th Evac Hospital
Normandy France

 


1944
Hat by Legroux
Paris France


 


1944
Mlle Christiane Poignet, Law student
Paris France
 


1944
Bombs bursting on the Fortress of St. Malo
France


 


1944
Place de la Concorde
Paris France

 


1944
Parisian children enjoying liberation
Paris France


 


1944
The children & GI's on flak wagon outside Notre Dame.
Paris France

 


1944
Victory Celebrations at Maison Paquin.
Paris France

 


1944
Service Women at a fashion salon.
Paris France

 


1944
Fashion Assignment - girl on bike in front of Eiffel Tower
Paris France

 


1944
Female collaborator
Rennes France


 


Winter 1945
The veiled Eiffel Tower from the Palais de Chaillot
Paris France


 


1945
Pissoir with posters
Paris France

 


1945
Paul Delvaux and Rene Magritte
Brussels

 


1945
Fashion Assignment - model wearing hat and jacket.
Paris France

 


1945
Eagles Nest in Flames
Berchtesgaden Germany

 


1945
US troops marching
Alsace France

 


1945
Infantry waiting for the attack
Alsace France


1945
Sherman tank, defences in village near Colmar
Alsace France

 


1945
Maison Rouge
Alsace France
 


1945
US soldier on the lookout
Alsace France


 


1945
US officers map reading
Alsace France

 


1945
Hohenzellern Bridge
Cologne Germany


 


1945
Bombed Interior Cologne Cathedral
Cologne Germany

 


1945
'Hotline to God'
Strasbourg

 


SS Prison Guard
Buchenwald, April 1945


 


Freed Prisoners
Dachau, April 1945

 


Nazi Suicide
Leipzig, April 1945

 


30th April 1945
Dead SS Guard floating in canal
Dachau


 


1946
 Max Ernst and Dorothea Tanning
Arizona
 

 


1946
Igor Stravinsky
Los Angeles
 

 


1949
Fashion for travel
London England

 


1949
Hardie Amies Suit
London England


 


1949
Fashion assignment model and seaplane
Sicily


 


1946
Dylan Thomas, Vogue Studio
(Poet and Writer)
London, England

 


1946
Man Ray and Roland Penrose
Los Angeles


 


1950 May
Fashion Assignment, Farley Farm
Chiddingly England
 


1950
Fashion Assignment, Farley Farm,
Celia Thellusson and Grandpa White.
Chiddingly England
 


1953
Joan Miro with toucan
London England


 


1954
Picasso & Braque
Vallauris, France

 


1958
Picasso
Villa La Californie France


 


Picasso

 


Magritte

 


Untitled

 


Untitled

 

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