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Lee Miller - A Woman’s War

Sonderausstellung im Imperial War Museum, London
Donnerstag, 5. November 2015 bis Sonntag, 24. April 2016

Elizabeth ("Lee") Miller (1907-1977) was one of the most important war photographers of the twentieth century. Her photographs from the Second World War give an intimate glimpse of the war’s lasting effects on women’s lives.

In 1939 Lee Miller began to work as a voluntary studio assistant for British Vogue and became a photographer in January 1940. The destruction and disruption of the Blitz offered her new opportunities for surreal photography and as the war progressed her style became increasingly experimental. She moved from studio photography to reportage and, in December 1942, Miller became one of only four female photographers accredited as US official war correspondents. However, she only gained access to Europe in July 1944, after D-Day, and was initially directed away from the front line, reporting on the work of US Army nurses at a field hospital near Omaha Beach. In August 1944, due to faulty military intelligence, she gained unauthorised access to the frontline and was the only photojournalist to witness the American assault on the fortress of St Malo. She gradually made her way to Paris, arriving at the end of August 1944. She then accompanied the American army as they travelled through Europe, witnessing the devastation of the war and discovering the horrors of the Nazi regime, including Buchenwald and Dachau concentration camps.

Lee Miller’s reports from Europe made her a celebrity in Britain and the USA, but the experience left her exhausted and emotionally fragile. She finally returned to Britain in 1946. Miller struggled with the legacy of her experiences and suffered from alcoholism and depression. After her career as a professional photographer ended she went on to study at the Cordon Bleu cookery school in Paris and travelled widely, researching new techniques and recipes, some of which were published in British Vogue. She rarely spoke about her wartime career and it wasn’t until her death, in 1977, that her son discovered her work, hidden in the attic of their family home.

This exhibition is the first to address Lee Miller’s vision of gender and features many photographs, objects, art and personal items never before seen on display.

Venue:  IWM London, Lambeth Road, London SE1 6HZ, UK

Open:  daily  10am - 6pm

Tickets:  £10 | £7 (concessions)



IWM London

Lambeth Road

London SE1 6HZ

United Kingdom

+44 (0)20 7416 5000



Marc Hansen



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