LEE MILLER

(1907-1977)

Lee Miller was a fashion model in the 1920s before moving to Paris, where she became a fashion and fine art photographer. In 1929, Miller began an apprenticeship at the studio of the surrealist photographer Man Ray (1890-1976), where she established herself as his model, collaborator, as well as his lover and muse. Lee Miller returned to New York City in 1932, where she established her own portrait and commercial photography studio, employing her brother Erik as her darkroom assistant. She rented two apartments in the vicinity of Radio City Music Hall; one becoming her home, the other becoming the Lee Miller Studio. Miller’s work was soon exhibited; in the Modern European Photography exhibition at the Julien Levy Gallery, New York; the International Photographers exhibition in Brooklyn Museum, New York; and in 1933, Julien Levy gave Lee Miller her first (and only) solo exhibition. At the outbreak of World War II, Miller embarked on a new career as the official war photographer for Vogue for whom she documented the Blitz bombings in London. She was also accredited as a war correspondent for Condé Nast Publications from 1942 onwards, and she frequently teamed up with David E. Scherman (1916-1997) on his assignments for Life.  Lee Miller travelled France less than a month after D-Day, recording the liberation of Paris, Battle of Alsace, and the horror of the Nazi concentration camps in Buchenwald and Dachau. 

Mrs Hubbel. Photograph in ‘Photo 1931’ book

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Edward Matthews (1904-1954) opera singer at St. Ignatius of Loyola in Four Saints in Three Acts, musical by Virgil Thomson with a libretto by Gertrude Stein. Photograph by Lee Miller in 1934 whilst operating at her studio on 8 East 48 Street, New York City

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Nude, c. 1934

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Mrs Hubbel. Photograph in ‘Photo 1931’ book

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