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The Legendary Lee Miller
by her son Antony Penrose

Report of the lecture
on April 22nd 2015

Surrealism - a 20th century avant-garde movement in art and literature which sought to release the creative potential of the unconscious mind for example by the irrational juxtaposition of images

Lee Miller was certainly a surrealist – one of the first.  She lived life to the full following her wild inclinations and comprehensive talents.

Having suffered from gonorrhoea for fifteen years after being raped at the age of seven, she made a full recovery and really made the most of what life could offer: a model and a war correspondent for Vogue (which had resulted from a chance meeting with Conde Naste), she ranged around the world with love affairs and friendships scattered far and wide.

Her relationship and association with Man Ray was lasting and influential but she was always her own woman.

One of the most outstanding achievements of her photographic career were the searing and agonising pictures that she took of the Nazi concentration camps when they were first liberated.  What courage it must have taken to perform this task.

Her son Antony Penrose, who gave the lecture, has inherited much of her charisma and charm and revealed that as a small child he hardly knew Miller and was brought up by a nanny (whom he adored) and attended boarding school for most of his school life.  It was only as a young married man that a rapprochement occurred and they became good friends.  He was aware of her wonderful achievements in the world of photography and photo-journalism and felt the world should be made aware of her great talents and courage.

His lecture was instructive, moving and funny in turn and I could have listened to him speak for much longer.

Thank you Antony.

Katrina McDonald

If you were unfortunate to have missed this lecture there is a great deal of information in Wikipedia and better still pay a visit to Farley Farm her home, or visit one of the many exhibitions that are travelling around the country.

Related Links:

Lee Miller Archives
Lee Miller - Wikipedia article

Lee Miller: A Woman's War (Imperial War Museum)
CDFAS visits Farley Farm House