“Elizabeth Lee Miller was an American photographer, born in 1907. She first started as a successful fashion model in New York, and later became an established fashion and fine art photographer. In 1929, Miller traveled to Paris with the aim of apprenticing herself to the surrealist artist and photographer Man Ray. Although Ray insisted that he did not take students, Miller soon became his model and co-collaborator, as well as his lover and muse.
She returned to New York in 1932, and again set up her own studio which ran for 2 years and was highly successful. It closed when she married a wealthy Egyptian businessman Aziz ELOUI BEY and went to live with him in Cairo, Egypt. She became fascinated by long range desert travel and photographed desert villages and ruins. In 1939 she left Egypt for London shortly before World War II broke out. She moved in with Roland PENROSE and defying orders from the US Embassy to return to America she took a job as a freelance photographer on Vogue.
In 1944 she became a correspondent accredited to the US Army.She was probably the only woman combat photo-journalist to cover the front line war in Europe and among her many exploits she witnessed the siege of St Malo, the Liberation of Paris, the fighting in Luxembourg and Alsace, the Russian/American link up at Torgau, the liberation of Buchenwald and Dachau. She billeted in both Hitler and Eva Brauns houses in Munich, and photographed Hitlers house Wachenfeld at Berchtesgaden in flames on the eve of Germanys surrender.
After the war she continued to contribute to Vogue for a further 2 years, covering fashion and celebrities. In 1947 she married Roland PENROSE and contributed to his biographies of PICASSO, MIRÓ, Man RAY and TÀPIES. Some of her portraits of famous artists like PICASSO are the most powerful portraits of the individuals ever produced, but it is mainly for the witty Surrealist images which permeate all her work that she is best remembered.
Lee Miller died at Farleys in 1977.”"