Surrealist before she knew of the movement Lee Miller was ‘caustically brilliant, yet totally loyal, unpretentious, human and intolerant of sham. She was a consummate artist and a consummate clown; at once an upstate New York hick and cosmopolitan grande dame; a cold, soignée fashion model and a hoyden… She was a mechanical ‘tinker’, in the sense that her friend [the artist] Alexander Calder once called himself ‘just a tinker’. She was the nearest thing I knew to a mid-20th century renaissance woman’ described David E. Scherman, LIFE photographer and her very close friend. Lee Miller was one of the most original photographic artists of the 20th century, her Surrealist eye informed everything she did. Her work presents the world in a way that encourages us to view it in a different manner.
Written and selected by her son Antony Penrose, co-founder of the Lee Miller Archives, author of the highly acclaimed biography Lives of Lee Miller and editor of Lee Miller’s War. He has been researching, lecturing and working towards conserving the legacy of his mother’s material for 40 years. These 100 full page images from throughout Lee Miller’s life are an attestation to her way of seeing.