Lee Miller: A Woman’s War, IWM London 15 October 2015 – 24 April 2016
27 October 2015
Lee Miller: A Woman’s War
15 October 2015 – 24 April 2016
Sponsored by Barclays
IWM London presents Lee Miller: A Woman’s War, a new major exhibition of 150 photographs depicting women’s experience of the Second World War by acclaimed photographer Lee Miller. Lee Miller: A Woman’s War is sponsored by Barclays and produced in collaboration with the Lee Miller Archives.
2015 marks 70 years since the end of the Second World War. When war broke out in 1939, women embarked on a continuous process of change and adaptation. For some, including Miller herself, the war brought a form of emancipation and personal fulfillment, but its many privations caused widespread suffering. Miller’s photography of women in Britain and Europe during this period reflects her unique insight as a woman and as a photographer capable of merging the worlds of art, fashion and photojournalism in a single image.
Lee Miller: A Woman’s War will trace Miller’s remarkable career as a photographer for Vogue Magazine and for the first time will address her vision of gender. Miller was one of only four female professional photographers to be accredited as US official war correspondents during the Second World War. Recognised today as one of the most important female war photographers of the twentieth century, through her work Miller offers an intriguing insight into the impact of conflict on women’s lives, detailing their diverse experiences and her own world view.
Comprising four parts, this exhibition will document Miller’s evolving vision of women and their lives as she travelled between countries before, during and in the immediate aftermath of the Second World War.
Women before the Second World War considers the origins of Miller’s wartime vision of women and her evolution as a photographer in the years preceding the Second World War; drawing on early life experiences, such as childhood trauma, her brief career as a fashion model, her involvement in the Surrealist art movement, the influence of early mentors such as Man Ray, and her two marriages.
Women in Wartime Britain explains how Miller, in her new role as photographer for British Vogue, documented the gradual but inexorable transformation of women’s lives in wartime Britain between 1939 and 1944. Illustrating how wartime privation and suffering was offset, in some cases, by enhanced opportunities outside the home.
Women in Wartime Europe examines Miller’s coverage of the impact of war on women in Europe as a US official war correspondent for Vogue magazine, 1944 – 1945, highlighting the diverse and distinctive nature of women’s experience of liberation, defeat and military occupation. Here the exhibition considers the emotional and physical toll of war on women, including Miller herself, reflecting too on the capacity of war in the front line to temporarily dissolve established divisionsbetween the sexes.
Women after the Second World War focuses on Lee Miller’s coverage of women in Denmark, Austria, Hungary and Romania in the immediate aftermath of war, contemplating the lasting legacy of war, the difficult process of recovery from wartime experiences and the adjustment to post-war changes.
‘Miller’s most important legacy is without doubt her photography of the Second World War.’ Hilary Roberts, Research Curator of Photography, IWM. Alongside Miller’s striking photographs, many of which are on public display for the first time, artworks, costume, objects, documents and ephemera will contribute to this fascinating and rarely told story. The exhibition is accompanied by a major illustrated book, Lee Miller: A Woman's War by the exhibition's curator Hilary Roberts and features an introduction by Antony Penrose, Lee Miller's son. Miller's photographs, many previously unpublished, are accompanied by extended captions that place the images in the context of women's roles within the landscape of war. Lee Miller: A Woman's War is
published by Thames & Hudson on 5 October 2015.
Tickets available now at iwm.org.uk : Adult £10, Child £5, Concessions £7, Members Free, Art Fund Members £5
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John Jones were delighted to work again with IWM to provide the museum standard framing for this exhibition, read case studies about John Jones exhibition framing projects for IWM. For more information about exhibition framing, please email email@example.com
Image: Anna Leska, Air Transport Auxiliary, Polish pilot flying a spitfire, White Waltham, Berkshire, England 1942 by Lee Miller © Lee Miller Archives, England 2015. All rights reserved.
For further press information including interview and image requests, please contact: Nina Dellow, PR Manager, firstname.lastname@example.org 0207 091 3069
Notes to Editors
Sponsor of Lee Miller: A Woman’s War at IWM London. Barclays is an international financial services provider engaged in personal, corporate and investment banking, credit cards and wealth management with an extensive presence in Europe, the Americas, Africa and Asia. Barclays’ purpose is to help people achieve their ambitions – in the right way. With 325 years of history and expertise in banking, Barclays operates in over 50 countries and employs over 130,000 people. Barclays moves, lends, invests and protects money for customers and clients worldwide.
For further information about Barclays, please visit our website www.barclays.com
Lee Miller: A Woman's War by Hilary Roberts features 156 illustrations and is published by Thames & Hudson on 5 October 2015, £29.95 hardback. Thames & Hudson is an international publisher of beautifully illustrated books. With a passion for visual culture, titles range from art, architecture, design, fashion and popular culture to photography, history, lifestyle, children’s and gift.
Founded in 1949, Thames & Hudson has always prided itself on the very high standards of the books it produces, both in content and quality of production, and attracts many authors, artists, designers, illustrators and photographers who are distinguished in their own fields. Discover more at thamesandhudson.com | follow @thamesandhudson
About Lee Miller Archives
Lee Miller’s work consists of about 60,000 negatives, 20,000 original prints and an extensive amount of original manuscripts and letters. Almost forgotten in the last decades of her life her work was rediscovered in the attic of her Sussex home, Farley Farm House, by chance shortly after her death and has now come to form the core of the Lee Miller Archives, a private trust run by her son and granddaughter, who with the Archives team have tirelessly worked for over 35 years on conserving her legacy.
As part of the dissemination of Lee Miller’s work the Archives are constantly uploading her photographs onto their image library website www.leemiller.co.uk where at the moment over 4000 can be searched and viewed. Lee Miller and her husband Roland Penrose’s home Farley Farm House has also been kept by her family to very much reflect how it was when she lived there and is open to the public for guided tour visits every Sunday from April until the end of October:www.farleyfarmhouse.co.uk. Farley Farm House conjures up an extraordinary atmosphere that testifies to its position as a meeting place for the friends of Penrose and Miller who were some of the key personalities in twentieth century art.
IWM London - IWM’s flagship branch - tells the stories of those whose lives have been shaped by war through the depth, breadth and impact of our Galleries, displays and events. Explore what life was like at home during the Second World War in A Family in Wartime; delve into the world of espionage in Secret War; visit our award-winning Holocaust Exhibition; discover stories of bravery in The Lord Ashcroft Gallery: Extraordinary Heroes; see work by some of Britain’s most significant 20th Century artists in our art galleries or take in our latest major temporary exhibitions. Our family learning sessions and events encourage debate and challenge people’s perceptions of war.
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IWM (Imperial War Museums) tells the story of people who have lived, fought and died in conflicts involving Britain and the Commonwealth since the First World War.
Our unique Collections, made up of the everyday and the exceptional, reveal stories of people, places, ideas and events. Using these, we tell vivid personal stories and create powerful physical experiences across our five museums that reflect the realities of war as both a destructive and creative force. We challenge people to look at conflict from different perspectives, enriching their understanding of the causes, course and consequences of war and its impact on people’s lives.
IWM’s five branches attract over 2 million visitors each year. IWM London, our flagship branch, marks the Centenary of the First World War with new permanent First World War Galleries and a new Atrium with iconic large object displays. Our other branches are IWM North, housed in an iconic award-winning building designed by Daniel Libeskind; IWM Duxford, a world-renowned aviation museum and Britain's best preserved wartime airfield; Churchill War Rooms, housed in Churchill’s secret headquarters below Whitehall; and the Second World War cruiser HMS Belfast.
About the First World War Centenary
2014 - 2018 marks the centenary of the First World War, a landmark anniversary for Britain and the world. IWM is marking the centenary by leading a vibrant, four year programme of cultural activities across the world including The WW1 Centenary Exhibition, a new touring exhibition which opened at Melbourne Museum on 17 April 2015. For more information visit www.1914.org.