The Art of Lee Miller

July 01-September 14, 2008

One of the most unconventional female artists of the 20th century, Lee Miller was admired for her classical beauty, intelligence, and photographic talent. This retrospective spans her career as a photographer and explores her transformation from muse and model to groundbreaking artist in her own right. Born in New York in 1907, Miller modeled for Vogue before meeting Man Ray in Paris in 1929. Inspired by his work, Miller began creating her own striking surrealist photographs. Later, she became a war photographer for British Vogue and was the only woman in combat photojournalism in Europe during World War II. After the war, she continued a nimble photographic practice, with later work including high-comedy portraits of art-world friends such as Max Ernst, Alfred H. Barr Jr., and Saul Steinberg.

The Art of Lee Miller is organized by the Victoria and Albert Museum, London.

Support for the San Francisco presentation is provided by Linda and Jon Gruber.

Lee Miller Women with Fire Masks, London, 1941 Lee Miller Archives, England 2008. All rights reserved. www.leemiller.co.uk

The many lives of Lee Miller

In this interview clip from May 2003, author and art historian Whitney Chadwick describes Lee Miller's unusual trajectory from model to Surrealist to war photographer to mother.