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Quintessential Lee Miller: Six photographs by Lee Miller selected by Mark Haworth-Booth

  • Object:

    Photograph

  • Place of origin:

    London (photographed)

  • Date:

    1941 (photographed)
    2007 (printed)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Miller, Lee, born 1907 - died 1977 (photographer)
    Lee Miller Archives (printer and publisher)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Gelatin silver print on Forte Polywarmtone FB semimatt fibrebase paper, hand printed from Lee Miller's original negatives and selenium-toned.

  • Credit Line:

    Gift of Mark Haworth-Booth, 2010

  • Museum number:

    E.474:3X-2010

  • Gallery location:

    Prints & Drawings Study Room, level F, case X, shelf 966, box II

Lee Miller is one of the most remarkable female icons of the 20th century -- an individual admired as much for her free-spirit, creativity and intelligence as for her classical beauty. A close survey of her life sees her transformedfrom muse to ground- breaking artist

Born in Poughkeepsie, New York, Miller began her modelling career on the cover of American Vogue before meeting Man Ray in Paris in 1929. She bacame both his lover and muse and under his guidance started to produce her own imagery. On returning to New York she set up her own studio working in fashion, advertising and celebrity portraiture.

In the 1930s she documented her travels to Egypt and Romania whilst spending summers in Europe with her Surrealist friends.

In 1940 she became a freelance photographer for Vogue and later a war correspondent. She was the only woman in combat photojournalism in Europe during the Second World War. The magazine published Miller's searing dispatches including reports on the Liberation of Paris, the siege of St Malo, the death camps in Dachau and Buchenwald and the banality of Hitler's apartment in Munich. After the war Miller married Roland Penrose and returned to portraiture, concluding her career with a humourous series titled Working Guests photographing famous artists, including Picasso, on their farm in Sussex.

This limited edition selection of gelatin silver print photographs printed from Lee Miller's original negatives were selected by Mark Haworth-Booth, the curator of the 2007 V&A exhibition The Art of Lee Miller. They have been printed and published by the Lee Miller Archives to commemorate the centenary year of Lee Miller.

Physical description

Black and white photograph of two women wearing fire-masks while seated in bunker. One of six photographs in portfolio.

Place of Origin

London (photographed)

Date

1941 (photographed)
2007 (printed)

Artist/maker

Miller, Lee, born 1907 - died 1977 (photographer)
Lee Miller Archives (printer and publisher)

Materials and Techniques

Gelatin silver print on Forte Polywarmtone FB semimatt fibrebase paper, hand printed from Lee Miller's original negatives and selenium-toned.

Marks and inscriptions

'The Lee Miller Archive/Lee Miller'
Blindstamp, with replica of signature, lower left recto of paper

'Lee Miller'
signature embossed in silver ink on box

Lee Miller Archive centenary limited edition wetstamp with replica of artist's signature, edition number, Anthony Penrose authentification signature, archive details and copyright information, centre verso of print.

Dimensions

Height: 36 cm paper, Width: 28 cm paper, Height: 24 cm image, Width: 22.8 cm image, Height: 45.7 cm mount, Width: 38 cm mount

Object history note

This portfolio contains the Museum numbers E.474:1-2010 to E.474:6-2010

Descriptive line

Photograph by Lee Miller, 'Women with fire-masks, Downshire Hill, London, England', from the portfolio 'Quintessential Lee Miller: Six photographs by Lee Miller selected by Mark Haworth-Booth', gelatin silver print, 1941 reprinted 2007

Production Note

Edition of 10 + 2 'hors d'editions'

Subjects depicted

Women; Masks; Bunkers

Categories

Photographs

Production Type

Artist's proof

Collection

Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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