Lee Miller (*1907 US–†1977 GB), Fire Masks, Downshire Hill, London, England 1941 © Lee Miller Archives England 2021. All rights reserved. www.leemiller.co.uk

Lee Miller (*1907 US–†1977 GB), Justice amid the ruins, Frankfurt, Germany 1945 © Lee Miller Archives England 2021. All rights reserved. www.leemiller.co.uk

Lee Miller (*1907 US–†1977 GB), Pablo Picasso and Lee Miller in his studio, Liberation of Paris, Rue des Grands-Augustins, Paris, France 1944 © Lee Miller Archives England 2021. All rights reserved. www.leemiller.co.uk

Lee Miller. Hautnah. Fotografien 1940 bis 1946 
Until 3 October 2021

Elizabeth “Lee” Miller (*1907 US–†1977 GB) is considered one of the most multifaceted artists of the 20th century. This American, who came to prominence as a model, photographer and Surrealist, produced impressive pictorial documents of the final phase in World War II when she accompanied the American troops to Germany. This show focuses on her unique war photographs from 1944 through 1945.

As a war correspondent for “Vogue”, Miller ventured into an area of photography which had previously been dominated by her male colleagues. With her reportage texts and her choice of photographic themes, Miller shook up her audiences and took a clear stance. She was the first female reporter to gain access to Paris in 1944 and she photographed her artist friends after the city’s liberation. Her remarkable work would have been forgotten were it not for the fact that her son discovered it after her death. Some of the pictures she took in Hessen are being shown for the first time.

Miller reached Frankfurt am Main at the end of March 1945, only a few days after the American forces had occupied the devastated metropolis. Her photo of the statute of Lady Justice on the expanse of rubble on Römerberg was published shortly later, in June 1945, at the beginning of the “Vogue” article “Nazi Harvest”. She had yet to encounter the unimaginable suffering in the concentration camps. The iconic photograph “Lee Miller in Hitler’s Bathtub” was taken in Munich on April 30, the day Hitler died, directly after her documentation on the liberation of the Dachau concentration camp.

The Surrealist in her, with her subjective, artistic way of looking at things, is still visible in her photographic work during the War, even though by then Miller had started to champion documentary journalism. Whether her work was documentary or staged, her principal aim was to provoke emotions. More than 75 years after the end of the War her war photographs are still of major importance. And if their primary function is to remind us about the brutality of World War II, they also evince Miller’s commitment to warning us against future wars.

Kunst- und Kulturstiftung Opelvillen Rüsselsheim
Ludwig-Dörfler-Allee 9, 65428 Rüsselsheim am Main


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