Lee Miller

American (Poughkeepsie, New York, 1907 - 1977, Chiddingly, England)

Walkway, Paris

ca. 1929
photograph | gelatin silver print
Not on view at this time; find out where you can see works from our collection at locations around the Bay Area while our building is closed for expansion
  • Walkway, Paris

    Lee Miller, Walkway, Paris, ca. 1929; gelatin silver print, 9 in. x 11 5/8 in. (22.86 cm x 29.53 cm); Collection of the Sack Photographic Trust; © Lee Miller Archives, England All rights reserved

In 1929 Miller was working in Paris as a Vogue model and experimenting with photography on the side. As she grew more serious about her artistic endeavors, she sought out a fellow expatriate American, the photographer Man Ray, and soon became his model, apprentice, and lover.

Miller and Man Ray often walked the Parisian streets on photographic excursions, and this picture is a rare early image from this period in Miller's practice. The photograph's play of light and shadow suggests a dreamlike, otherworldly space, betraying the influence of Man Ray and other Surrealists, but its delicacy and elegance reflect Miller's own emerging vision.

Following the end of her relationship with Man Ray, Miller went on to run her own studio in New York. By the time she made it back to Europe, shortly before World War II, her photographic interests ran more toward photojournalism.

As a Vogue correspondent she documented many significant events during the war, including the London blitz, the liberation of Paris, and the Americans' entry into the concentration camps in Dachau and Buchenwald. In 1945, after Allied troops had taken over Adolf Hitler's Berlin residence, she made an infamous self-portrait, bathing in the Führer's tub.

9 in. x 11 5/8 in. (22.86 cm x 29.53 cm)
Collection of the Sack Photographic Trust
© Lee Miller Archives, England All rights reserved


shadows, light, angles, underground, Paris, France

From June 3, 2013, through early 2016, SFMOMA's building on Third Street in San Francisco will be temporarily closed for expansion construction. Selected artworks in our collection are included in a range of off-site exhibitions during this period. We regret that the remainder of the collection will not be available for study during this time.

In the meantime, we invite you to explore a wide selection of our collection online. Please note that the information presented online is subject to revision. Please contact us at collections@sfmoma.org to verify artwork details.

This resource is for educational use and its contents may not be reproduced without permission. Please review our Terms of Use for more information.