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From 21 November 2023, Depot Boijmans Van Beuningen presents Lee Miller in Print. Dive into the life and work of Lee Miller: Surrealist and photographer, whose pioneering work coincided with the development of modern art photography.
Lee Miller was born in Upstate New York in 1907, the daughter of an amateur photographer. After a short period as a model, she became a fashion photographer, a highly unusual profession for a woman in the early 1930s. She worked with Man Ray, among others, and became a Surrealist. Her photographs appeared mainly in magazines: photography exhibitions as we know them today were very rare in the interwar years.
At the beginning of the Second World War, Miller moved to London, where she worked for British Vogue and soon found herself at the front as an accredited war photographer. Over the next few years, she photographed military personnel, bombed-out cityscapes, displaced citizens and the liberated concentration camps. She even posed for a photograph in Hitler’s bathtub.
Her harrowing war experiences left her traumatised. In her final decades – she died in 1977 – she reinvented herself as a cook and cookery writer, gaining press coverage for her Surrealist recipes.
Lee Miller appeared in print on both sides of the Atlantic – as a model, photographer and writer – over a period of more than fifty years. After her death, it transpired that she had secretly kept much of her photographic work in the attic of her farmhouse.
Lee Miller in Print Symposium
Depot Boijmans Van Beuningen will host a symposium related to the exhibition Lee Miller in Print and the book of the same title published by Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen.
An international panel of speakers will address Lee Miller’s varied roles as a model, photographer, Surrealist, war correspondent, mother and cook, and how her life and work were reflected in lifestyle magazines such as Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar and relatively unknown Surrealist magazines published during Miller’s lifetime.
Practical information Date: Saturday 27 January 2024 Time: 1:00-4:00 pm Cost: €25, excluding entry to the Depot Location: Coert Hall, Depot Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam Language: English
Lee Miller in Print is the culmination of years of research into Miller’s published body of work. This research has uncovered numerous previously unknown examples of Miller’s work in the archives of dozens of magazines – from well-known titles such as Harper’s Bazaar and Vogue to small-circulation avant-garde periodicals. The book provides a rich overview of Miller’s work and contains texts by, among others, curator Saskia van Kampen-Prein. The exhibition at Depot Boijmans Van Beuningen features approximately a hundred historical magazines, vintage prints, films, archival materials and much more.