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Lee Miller. Beyond the muse. A very modern woman: a woman of her time

Lee Miller. Beyond the muse. A very modern woman: a woman of her time

Stacey, Gillian Joyce (2017) Lee Miller. Beyond the muse. A very modern woman: a woman of her time. PhD thesis, University of Greenwich.

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Abstract

Fashion model, surrealist artist, muse, photographer, and war correspondent. This discourse of simple transition from model to war correspondent, influenced by Antony Penrose and the Miller estate, has dominated the reading of Miller‟s life and work, as exemplified by the Imperial War Museum‟s exhibition (15 October 2015 – 24 April 2016).

This thesis challenges the dominant view of Lee Miller as defined by the familial discourse and its associated narrative arc of trauma, success and decline. It emphasises her years in Egypt and the Balkans as being formative of her engagement with documenting life and with contemporary technological and artistic developments. This provides a way to understand not only her extraordinary work as a war correspondent for Vogue but also her much-neglected work in the post-war era. I examine Miller‟s post-war writings (and practices) on domesticity, cooking and consumerism with regard to contemporary discourses in order to demonstrate how she negotiated a new life as mother and wife and reworked her own artistic practice alongside the contemporary art movements of Fluxus and nouveau réalisme.

By placing Miller in a context, which emphasises her lived American and Egyptian experience, her engagement with the developments in photography, her writings as a war correspondent, and by exploring how she negotiated the challenges of her years at Farley Farm, I offer a far more complex and positive account than those of the accepted and established discourses.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Lee Miller; post-war writing; domesticity; cooking; consumerism
Subjects: N Fine Arts > N Visual arts (General) For photography, see TR
Faculty / Department / Research Group: Faculty of Architecture, Computing & Humanities
Faculty of Architecture, Computing & Humanities > Department of Literature, Language & Theatre
Last Modified: 02 Apr 2019 16:03
Selected for GREAT 2016: None
Selected for GREAT 2017: None
Selected for GREAT 2018: None
Selected for GREAT 2019: None
URI: http://gala.gre.ac.uk/id/eprint/23435

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