Lee Miller

Letters to the Editor: Lee Miller at the V&A

Exhibition includes rare archival material

I was very gratified to read Richard Calvocoressi’s review of my book The Art of Lee Miller in the May issue (p60): it was more than fair, in fact it was generous, especially as I managed to conflate two publications by Richard into one in my bibliography. I am glad to say that V&A Publications say that this will be put right in the paperback edition which comes out in September.

However, I am afraid I have to disagree with Richard’s view that his Lee Miller retrospective at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, held in 2001, was as comprehensive as the centenary exhibition I am curating for the V&A (which opens on 15 September). The V&A show brings together for the first time major vintage prints from public and private collections in the US, as well as from the Lee Miller Archives, it includes extremely important photographs never exhibited before, as well as clips from the Cocteau film “Blood of a Poet”, in which Lee Miller played the lead role, and it also includes three drawings from around 1930 (never previously exhibited) and a collage from 1937.

The exhibition really will present more of the key achievements of Lee Miller than any previous show and it closes with a strong showing of Lee’s genuinely funny portraits from the early 1950s, “Working Guests”.

Mark Haworth-Booth

Visiting Professor of Photography, University of the Arts, London

Appeared in The Art Newspaper Archive, 181 June 2007