V&A to reveal 'hidden artwork'

An artist who lost faith in her talent by the time of her death is to have her name in lights at London’s prestigious Victoria & Albert Museum.

Lee Miller, who was a model, muse, painter and freelance war correspondent, will have her work, much of it found posthumously, showcased at the V&A from September 2007.

Hailed as a female icon of the 20th century, Miller was known for her free-spirit; creativity, classical beauty and wartime stints in Paris and Munich as a freelance photographer.

She was born in New York in 1907 and modelled for Vogue before meeting Man Ray in Paris in 1929.

After becoming both his lover and muse, she was inspired by his work, and started to develop her own images.

Miller then became a freelance war photographer for London Vogue and was the only woman in combat photojournalism in Europe

After the war she returned to fashion photography and portraiture, photographing key figures of the day including Picasso, Man Ray and Miro.

Curators at the V&A reflected: “This exhibition will cover her extraordinary career as a photographer and is the first complete retrospective of her life and work, exploring her transformation from artist's muse to ground-breaking artist.”

But speaking yesterday, the museum’s Mark Haworth- Booth hinted that behind the scenes Miller was less than confident about her creations.

“She hid her own work for so long,” the curator of the exhibition told The Guardian.

“She was unique in doing so many different things, and doing each so well, as model, surrealist photographer, remarkable travel photographer, war photographer, fashion photographer - and most surprisingly, as a great comic photographer.”

The exhibition is expected to showcase images and prints from private collections, many of which have never been exhibited or published before.


24th April 2007

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