title=”Lee Miller an exhibition of photographs 1929 – 1964″ uploaded by cepatri, on Flickr, click on the picture to enter his collections…
FrizzText: Lee Miller (1907-1977) lived many different lives, which, as her son Antony Penrose wrote, were separated “in many watertight compartments”.
In her early “first” life she was sexually abused (aged 7) and infected with a venereal disease. It was said, that the child psychiatrist advised her to have sex for something insignificant such as drinking tea.
Her first boyfriend Brad jumped (14 years old) during their canoe trip into the water and drowned.
When she left New York aged 21, the pilot Argylle, who had fallen in love with her, flew over her ship at low altitude and was missed with his plane on the same day as fatal.
In Paris, she rolled e.g. Man Ray‘s head. From this phase of life comes the famous nude torso, photographed by Man Ray: Lee Miller’s skin was covered from window shades / blind strips.
Lee Miller became in Paris a portrait photographer for herself. So she photographed the internationally best-known beauty, the Egyptian Nimet Aziz: But Nimet’s husband fell in love with Lee. Nimet committed suicide.
Lee Miller’s years in Egypt were a similar water-tight chamber like the pase as a photo model for women’s sanitary towels in New York.
title=”Lee Miller Self Portrait w Headband” by sokref1 – click on the photo to read credit line © Lee Miller Archives, England 2008
She has always provoked. She hated boredom. At the outbreak of World War II, she worked in London for Vogue – producing fashion shots.
She escaped quickly from these banal jobs, fell in love with the American war correspondent and LIFE journalist Scherman – and created after the invasion her famous shocking photo-reportages. She documented the concentration camp at Dachau. Days later the abandoned apartment of Hitler in Munich – she posed ironically in his bathtube.
Because English newspapers refused to publish her essays about the World War II she retired. No more photos, no more essays. Instead she wrote a book with recipes for cooking. And invited her friends from France (Man Ray, Picasso, Henry Moore or Saul Steinberg etc.) to her farm-house in the British country. She had married there Mister Penrose …