I went to the Lee Miller exhibition this weekend. It was a collection of some of her photographs taken when she was a ‘combat photographer’ documenting World War ll. Not only were we lucky enough to get in for free as it was the first day but we were also treated to a talk by her grand daughter, she told us some very interesting things about the photographer, things that only family would know, it was a treat to hear, even though some points were a bit sad, such as the fact that Lee had post traumatic stress from her experience of the war which perhaps led to her alcoholism….but it was very interesting to hear all the same.
There’s a good bit about her on Wikipedia.
The show was amazing, the pictures gave me a lump in my throat more than once, the images were so honest and brutal that it’s hard to imagine an ex Vogue model being able to stomach the harshness of it all. I especially like the documentation of the ‘Women at War’, the women that held the country together, farmed the land, manned the anti aircraft guns, worked the factories making parachutes and bullets and basically helped the country win the war, although horribly hard work I am certain those women felt utterly empowered by the role reversal that was forced upon them (the country introduced conscription for single women and childless widows aged 19-43) There were some portraits of female pilots that were very inspiring, talk about working ‘face of adversity’!
Thanks to the Lee Miller Archive (set up by her son) for sharing her work with the world.