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23 June 2020Lee Miller Witnessing Women at War
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Lee Miller Witnessing Women at War Antony Penrose Tuesday 23 June 2020

Image:  © Lee Miller Archives, England 2019. All rights reserved.

For Lee Miller a woman at war was any woman caught up in World War 2. She shot faultless images for Vogue’s haute couture in London’s bombed out streets. She documented the magnificent work of the WRNS, ATS, the Land Girls, the WRVS and the nurses. She shows us the refugees in Europe, girls accused of collaboration and women forced into slave labour or prostitution and concentration camp victims. Their roles range from bravery to stupidity and from enforced involvement to volunteering.

This is a documentation of one of the biggest social changes in British and European history, as three million women left their normal housewife roles and entered industry and the armed forces discovering careers and undreamed of freedom. It is told against the background of Lee Miller’s own life story which takes her from being a fashion supermodel via life as a surrealist artist to a combat photographer and finally a gourmet cook.