Lee Miller’s work for Vogue from 1941–45 sets her apart as a photographer of extraordinary ability, and the quality of her work from the period has long been recognized as outstanding. Its full range is shown here, accompanied by her brilliant despatches.
Miller's words manage to combine immediacy with acute observation, and deep personal involvement with professional detachment. Complementing her natural talent in writing are over one hundred and fifty remarkable photographs from the Lee Miller Archives. With their own unique quality of surrealist irony, which at times verges on the horrific and at others on the hilarious, they show war-ravaged cities, buildings and landscapes, but above all war-resilient people – soldiers, leaders, medics, evacuees,prisoners of war, the wounded, the villains and the heroes.
There is the raw edge of combat portrayed at the siege of St Malo and the bitterly fought Alsace campaign, and the disbelief and outrage she describes on witnessing the victims of Dachau. The horror is relieved by the spirit of post-liberation Paris, where she indulged in frivolous fashions and recorded memorable conversations with Picasso, Cocteau, Eluard, Aragon and Colette.
The book ends with Miller’s first-on-the-scene, sardonic description of Hitler’s abandoned house in Munich, and the looting and burning of his fortress at Berchtesgaden, which marked a symbolic end to the war. The book is accompanied by a foreword from David E. Scherman, the renowned war-photojournalist, who shared many of Miller's assignments.
'A fascinating and at times haunting record of the Allied advance across Europe after D-Day … the story is vividly told through her letters, her articles for British Vogue and nearly 160 powerful, resonant photographs … a moving account of cruelty, suffering and courage that we should never forget'
Black & White Photography
'From the broken faces of its victims to the moments of frivolous joy found by those even in their darkest moments, this tome is a visual memoir of a cruel moment in time'
'Fascinating and informative, and a very good read'
'A diary of photographs so powerful you feel you could step into them … an astonishingly vivid journalist of both words and image'