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Lee Miller...

Chloe Groeneveld

Apr 15, 2024

...the lady photographed in Hitler's bathtub. Miller, an “it girl” at the time, was not just a model for Hitler’s bathtub, she was an American Vogue model, a fashion photographer, and a war correspondent/photographer for vogue. Born in Poughkeepsie, New York in 1907, Miller was first a model for her father, Theodore Miller (an inexperienced devotee to photography) and grew up in the flash of a camera. She had the beauty and grace that many grew envy of. For such a beautiful face, growing up in the circumstances she did, sharpened her and influenced how she viewed the world. 1927 blossomed her modeling career for American Vogue and in 1929 she moved to Paris to grow her love for art. In Paris she met Man Ray (a well-known American Visual artist) and became not only his student, but also his lover. Miller soon became Man Ray’s inspiration for creativity, and he began to instruct Miller the beauty of photography, mastering the use of light, print and solarization. Photography grew into Miller’s new love and eventually she created a studio in New York in 1932. Lee Miller married her first husband, Azizi Eloui Bey, in 1934 and moved to Egypt to live with his family. During her marriage to her first husband, she was going through a hard time and didn’t enjoy photography like she used to. Even going through this loss of love for photography she kept seeing the beauty in nature that she wished to capture beautiful pictures. “Portrait of Space” captured by Miller in 1937 became a popular, well-done photo of the Western Sahara Desert with many other photos. Taking these photos helped inspire her and influenced her to travel back to Europe and show her friends her beautiful creations. Miller had many popular friends, and one included the famous artist himself, Picasso. Picasso and Miller both shared a fascination for surrealist art and bonded over creativity. Falling in and out of love with photography and lovers, Miller, when visiting Europe again met a famous Surrealist painter named Roland Penrose. After meeting Penrose, Miller travelled with him and together they experienced Romania. 1939 Miller moved with Penrose to London and began her editorial career for the British Vogue. The 1940’s became Miller’s prime time spending many of the decade in and out of war areas, taking photos, while documenting and writing for Vogue. 1942 Miller became “an U.S. Army war correspondent for Conde Nast Publications”. She is believed to have made history as the first ever American woman war correspondent and became her own boss. Being a war correspondent, Miller usually stayed out of direct combat but wound up in the middle of a siege in Saint Malo. With the circumstances given her hard mindset kept her on her mission to take the photos she could and keep art alive. 1947 Miller and Penrose married and gave birth to their only son, Anthony Penrose. The Penrose’s settled in a Farley Farm House where the family lived their lives. Miller retired from her career in photography and suffering from postpartum depression, PTSD and an alcohol addiction, she took up her next new, captivating Cookbooks became Miller’s bread andbutter,r and Vogue later published an article on “How Famous People Cook: Lady Penrose”. Miller later passed away in 1977 and her famous history would’ve as well except, Anthony and his wife found her work in the attic of the old farmhouse and published a book in 1985 “The Lives of Lee Miller”. To this day Lee Miller is an inspiration through her creative eyes and courageous heart. September 20th, 2024, is the United States release date for the film “Lee”. Staring Kate Winslet as Miller and presents Miller’s crazy, but true story.  


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