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Lee Miller: A Photographer at Work (1932–1945)

September 11–December 7, 2024
Main Gallery
Curator: Gaëlle Morel

This exhibition explores one of the most intense and productive chapters in the professional life of American photographer Lee Miller. Between 1932 and 1945 Miller was simultaneously a renowned portrait photographer running her own studio in New York (1932—1934), a photographer for perfume and cosmetic brands in advertising (1932—1945), and a fashion photographer and war correspondent for the British edition of Vogue (1939—1945). This short time span encompasses a rich history in which the photographer moved between and linked her various practices. Miller’s diverse professional activities, and the ease with which she stepped from one context to another, reveal a photographer whose work was defined primarily by its exchange and commercial value. Lee Miller, A Photographer at Work reveals the inner dynamics of managing a photography career amid the myriad challenges facing professional women at the time. The exhibition offers a rich and complex portrait of this important figure, previously known best for her collaboration with American artist Man Ray and her close ties to the Surrealist movement of the 1920s.

Organized in collaboration with the Lee Miller Archives, England.
Originally produced and presented during Les Rencontres d’Arles, France, 2022.

This event has been financially assisted by the Ontario Cultural Attractions Fund, a program of the Government of Ontario through the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Gaming, administered by the Ontario Cultural Attractions Fund Corporation. 

Fig. 1

Lee Miller, Hats, London, England, 1939, chromogenic print (printed 2023) © Lee Miller Archives

Lee Miller: A Photographer at Work (1932–1945)