FFI Worker: Paris, France, 1944.
Photo Credit: © Lee Miller Archives, England 2014
The war also acted as a catalyst for further women’s emancipation from the roles they previously held; with men off fighting, women worked in factories and conducted espionage and did what was deemed necessary to win the war against fascism. Lee Miller [1907-1977] and her photographs tell a certain story about the war; like many artists, Miller herself is a fascinating and complex figure, very much a product of the 1920s generation in search of something grand.
Complexity is more often than not a result of unresolved internal conflict, which affect those nearest and dearest with a host of human emotions. It is not easy being an artist or the children of one. Anthony Penrose, has written a book about his mother, revealing sides of her personality that he was unaware of while growing up.
The Second World War was a turning point in human history, and its affects still reverberate today. Aesthetica writes: “2015 marks 70 years since the end of the Second World War. When war broke out in 1939, women embarked on a continuous process of change and adaptation. For some, including Miller herself, the war brought a form of emancipation and personal fulfillment, but its many privations caused widespread suffering. Miller’s photography of women in Britain and Europe during this period reflects her unique insight as a woman and as a photographer capable of merging the worlds of art, fashion and photojournalism in a single image.”
The exhibit, at the Imperial War Museums (IWM) in London, England, is scheduled to run from October 15, 2015 to April 24, 2016.