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Victoria Gallery stages Lee Miller exhibition

Warm and witty images taken by pioneering 20th Century photographer and war correspondent Lee Miller have gone on display at a Liverpool gallery.

The works are being exhibited at the University of Liverpool’s Victoria Gallery & Museum until November.

Lee Miller – Friends at Farleys marks the 75th anniversary of Miller and her husband, the English surrealist painter, photographer and poet Roland Penrose, moving to their East Sussex home.

There they raised their son Antony and entertained their wide circle of creative friends, including Picasso. Penrose was his biographer.

Photographs taken there in the 1950s, and loaned from the Lee Miller Archive at Farleys House & Gallery, capture the convivial atmosphere of Farleys House and its grounds.

They include selection of tongue-in-cheek portraits Miller took for an article called Working Guests, published in British Vogue’s July 1953 edition, where she has apparently set visitors mundane household tasks.

Born at Poughkeepsie in New York State in 1907, in the 1920s Elizabeth ‘Lee’ Miller became a fashion model before moving to work behind the camera.

She was part of the Surrealist avant-garde in 1930s Paris, then on the outbreak of the Second World War she started working for Vogue, taking images of women working for the war effort.

Miller went on to become one of only four female photographers accredited as war correspondent by the US Army, arriving in Normandy a month after D-Day and travelling across Europe with the advancing Allied forces where she photographed the liberation of Paris as well as the concentration camps at Dachau and Buchenwald.

She had met Penrose in 1937 in London, and married him a decade later. The couple lived at Farleys, at Chiddingly near Hailsham, for 28 years before Miller’s death in 1977. Penrose, who was knighted in 1966, continued to live there until he died in 1984.

The house, gallery and garden are now open to the public.

Lee Miller – Friends at Farleys is at the Victoria Gallery & Museum in Ashton Street until November 30. More HERE

Top: Picasso at the Signpost, 1950. Photograph courtesy of the Lee Miller Archives.


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