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06 November 2023 up to and including 18 February 2024
Depot Boijmans Van Beuningen

Lee Miller in Print

From 4 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 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.


Lee Miller in Print has been organised in partnership with the Lee Miller Archives. The exhibition is curated by Saskia van Kampen-Prein, who has also edited the accompanying publication.