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Wednesday, 27 November, 2002, 13:28 GMT
From Vogue model to war photographer
Lee Miller in 1944. Copyright Lee Miller Archive.
Miller in 1944. Copyright Lee Miller Archive.
Lee Miller graced Vogue and counted Picasso among her friends, but also saw the worst of humanity photographing the Nazi camps, as shown in a new exhibition.

Photographer Lee Miller lead an extraordinary life which saw her on the cover of Vogue and standing at the gates of Dachau concentration camp.

Open in new window : Vogue, art and war
See photographs from Lee Miller's diverse career

She counted Pablo Picasso among her friends and was made a Lady by the Queen when she settled in the UK.

A new book about Miller and a exhibition of the American-born photographer's work at London's Photographer's Gallery hopes to disentangle her adventures from her art.


Lee Miller in 1932. Copyright Lee Miller Archive.
Lee Miller's life:
  • 1907: Born Poughkeepsie, New York
  • 1927: Discovered by Vogue owner Conde Nast
  • 1929: Goes to Paris
  • 1940: Moves to London, photographs Blitz
  • 1944: Joins Allied invasion
  • 1947: Marries Roland Penrose in London
  • 1977: Dies at Farley Farm, East Sussex
  • "We're trying to reclaim her for art, since so much attention is given to her life," Richard Calvocoressi, author of Lee Miller, Portraits from a Life, told BBC News Online.

    He says that even when Lee was following the Allied advance through Nazi-occupied Europe as a war correspondent, she remained an "art" photographer.

    "Even in her raw, direct pictures of concentration camp prisoners and the perpetrators of the Holocaust, she was reminded of art from the past, the medieval brutality in Bruegel and Hieronymus Bosch."

    Lee's son, Antony Penrose, says her war photographs have a lasting legacy.

    "She tried to encourage us to see a more humane life. She photographed the suffering, hurt and wounded as if to say there was a better way of doing things. That's still relevant today."

    Lee Miller: Portraits from a Life is at The Photographers' Gallery, 5 & 8 Great Newport Street, London. 29 November 2002 - 1 February 2003.

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