The Story of Lee Miller: From the Cowl of Vogue to Hitler’s Bathtub

In late-twen­ties Man­hat­tan, a 9­teen-year-old lady named Eliz­a­beth “Lee” Miller stepped off the curb and into the trail of a automobile. She was pulled again to protected­ty by none oth­er than the magazine­nate Condé Nast, founding father of the epony­mous pub­lish­ing com­pa­ny. Not lengthy there­after, Miller, who’d been research­ing on the Artwork Stu­dents League of New York, appeared on the cov­er of Vogue. It’s tempt­ing to name this the primary main episode of a charmed life, although that descrip­tor suits uneasi­ly with the arc of her sev­en­ty years, dur­ing the previous few a long time of which she might nev­er fairly recov­er from hav­ing wit­nessed first-hand the lib­er­a­tion of the con­cen­tra­tion camps at Buchen­wald and Dachau — sights she shared with the Amer­i­can pub­lic as a conflict pho­tog­ra­ph­er.

Miller took pic­tures of not simply the con­cen­tra­tion camps, but in addition occasions just like the Lon­don Blitz and the lib­er­a­tion of Paris. On the finish of the conflict, she posed for an much more well-known pic­ture, bathing in Hitler’s tub on the exact same day that the Führer lat­er shot him­self in his bunker.

Behind the cam­period in that occasion was Life cor­re­spon­dent David E. Scher­man, one of many notable males in Miller’s life. Oth­ers includ­ed the artist-writer Roland Pen­rose, the busi­ness­man Aziz Eloui Bey, and, earlier than all of them, the sur­re­al­ist pho­tog­ra­ph­er Man Ray, every of whom cor­re­spond­ed to a part of the professional­fes­sion­al jour­ney that took her from fash­ion mod­el to worry­much less pho­to­jour­nal­ist.

You’ll be able to see and listen to that jour­ney recount­ed by gal­lerist-Youtu­ber James Payne in the brand new Nice Artwork Defined video on the prime of the put up. Simply above is a British Pathé information­reel that reveals Miller at house with Pen­rose in 1946, the 12 months between the tip of the conflict and the delivery of their son Antony Pen­rose, who re-dis­cov­ered and re-pub­li­cized his moth­er’s pho­tog­ra­phy after her loss of life in 1977. How­ev­er belat­ed her pub­lic recog­ni­tion, it’s nonetheless sur­pris­ing {that a} life like Miller’s, the occasions of which stretch even Hol­ly­wooden plau­si­bil­i­ty, solely turned a film final 12 months. Lee nonetheless awaits broad launch, however a lot has been writ­ten concerning the pas­sion of star Kate Winslet that acquired it made. She’ll undoubt­ed­ly impress as Miller — however nei­ther, rumor has it, is Sat­ur­day Evening Dwell alum­nus Andy Sam­berg’s David E. Scher­man a per­for­mance to be missed.

Relat­ed con­tent:

The For­acquired­ten Ladies of Sur­re­al­ism: A Magazine­i­cal, Quick Ani­mat­ed Movie

Man Ray’s Por­traits of Ernest Hem­ing­method, Ezra Pound, Mar­cel Duchamp & Many Oth­er Twenties Icons

Why the U.S. Pho­tographed Its Personal World Struggle II Con­cen­tra­tion Camps (and Com­mis­sioned Pho­tographs by Dorothea Lange)

Meet Tsuneko Sasamo­to, Japan’s First Feminine Pho­to­jour­nal­ist and Now, at 107, Japan’s Previous­est Liv­ing Pho­to­jour­nal­ist

Nice Artwork Defined: Watch 15 Minute Intro­duc­tions to Nice Works by Warhol, Rothko, Kahlo, Picas­so & Extra

Based mostly in Seoul, Col­in Marshall writes and broad­casts on cities, lan­guage, and cul­ture. His initiatives embody the Sub­stack newslet­ter Books on Cities and the ebook The State­much less Metropolis: a Stroll by Twenty first-Cen­tu­ry Los Ange­les. Fol­low him on Twit­ter at @colinmarshall or on Face­ebook.

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