Women You’ve Never Heard Of: Part V

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Miller in Adolf Hitler’s private bath.

 

Elizabeth ‘Lee’ Miller’s life literally revolved around a camera. Vogue founder Conde Nast put her in front of one at the age of nineteen, after rescuing her from the path of an oncoming car. She worked as a model for two years, and in 1928 became the first live person to appear in an ad for a feminine hygiene product. This was scandalous at the time, and eventually led to the end of her modeling career. Undeterred, Lee decided to step around to the other side of the camera.

She went to Paris, and apprenticed herself to photographer Man Ray, and soon mastered the art – many pictures originally attributed to Ray were actually taken by Miller. While in France, Lee participated avidly in the surrealist movement, and befriended the likes of Pablo Picasso, and Jean Cocteau. She continued to produce photographic art until World War II, when she shifted her focus to photojournalism. Lee landed in Europe less than a month after D-Day, and went on to document such historical episodes as the first use of napalm, and the horrors of the Nazi concentration camps.

Today’s Proud Kate: Lee Miller

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