Lee Miller

Photography, surrealism, and beyond

By Patricia Allmer

Lee Miller

Book Information

  • Format: Hardcover
  • ISBN: 978-0-7190-8547-5
  • Pages: 272
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Price: £85.00
  • Published Date: January 2016
  • BIC Category: Art History, Individual photographers, ART / History / Modern (late 19th Century to 1945), PHOTOGRAPHY / Individual Photographers / Monographs, The arts / Art & design styles: Surrealism & Dada, The arts / Individual photographers


Lee Miller: Photography, surrealism, and beyond offers a major new critical discussion of the work of one of the most significant twentieth-century photographers. Applying art-theoretical analyses and insights afforded by previously unseen material in archives and collections, Patricia Allmer undertakes revisionary readings of many of Miller's works, including Portrait of Space, Severed Breast from Radical Mastectomy and the famous series of war photographs produced for Vogue. At the same time she sheds new light on Miller's relations with surrealist groups and American avant-gardes, on her experiences in Paris, Egypt and World War II Europe and on her critically neglected post-war activities. Above all, Lee Miller: Photography, surrealism, and beyond focuses critical attention on the works themselves. As a result it will be of great interest to students and scholars of twentieth-century photography, modernism and surrealism.


'The book is provocative and will inspire thoughtful reconsideration of Dada and surrealism-its people, activities, and production.'
C. Chiarenza, University of Rochester, Choice July 2016

'This groundbreaking book is a welcome, indeed crucial, addition to Lee Miller scholarship. Allmer's analyses reframe and enhance our comprehension of Miller's artistic oeuvre, gracefully complementing, rather than completely upending, the established canon. The narrative is pleasingly plotted, and Allmer's conclusions crisply and satisfyingly come together.'
Caitlin Davis, Woman's Art Journal, Fall/Winter 2017

"[...] in Lee Miller: Photography, Surrealism and beyond, Allmer offers the most extensive and most in-depth analysis of Miller's visual art work to date."
Jonas Ellerström, Svenska Dagbladet, 9 September 2017

'As I write this, it has just been announced that there is to be a biopic about Lee Miller starring (perhapsinevitably) Kate Winslet.At the outset of this stimulating and informativebook, Allmer stated her intention: it is not to disprove current versions of Miller's life or to offer a new narrative, but rather to 'refocus it, adding new layers to it and revealing uncertainties that open up historical andaesthetic possibilities.' This she has certainly achieved. Her book should beread by all those interested in photography, modernism and surrealism - and by Kate Winslet.'
Julie Lawson, Studies in Photography, vol. 2, 2017


1. Refocusing Miller
2. Severed Breast from Radical Surgery in a Place Setting
3. Four Saints in Three Acts
4. Shadows of herself: Miller, Picasso and collage
5. Apertures onto Egypt
6. 'Special works': reading Miller's war photography
7. The ruins of representation: Miller's war photography and the Third Reich
8. Afterimage


Patricia Allmer is Professor of Modern and Contemporary Art History at the University of Edinburgh

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