Lee Miller and Surrealism in Britain

The Hepworth Wakefield

22 June – 7 October 2018

The Hepworth's summer exhibition traces the links between photographer Lee Miller’s extraordinary life and work and the Surrealist movement in Britain.

Lee Miller, Henry Moore with his sculpture Mother and Child, Farleys Garden, East Sussex, 1953

In this exhibition, the photographs of artist and journalist Lee Miller (1907-77) are used as a route into understanding the creative connections that existed between artists in the UK in the 1930s and 1940s – as well as the burgeoning Surrealist movement that emerged in Britain right before the Second World War.

Miller both collaborated with and turned her lens on standout artists including Leonora Carrington, Max Ernst and René Magritte; here, the shots she took of these significant Surrealist figures are exhibited alongside their own paintings and sculptures.

Spotted at 19 years old by the publisher Condé Nast, founder of Vogue, Miller worked as a model in the 1920s before moving to Paris to become Man Ray’s apprentice and lover. Her connections with and contributions to the Surrealist movement were wide-ranging; she exhibited alongside artists including Eileen Agar and Henry Moore and has been credited as central to the development and prolonged life of the movement after the Second World War.

Miller was also one of British Vogue’s most prolific contributors, her photojournalism just one of the ways in which she turned her attention to different disciplines, including fashion and commercial photography. This exhibition charts Miller’s contribution to the dispersal of Surrealism's ideas and aesthetic beyond the realm of fine art and into public consciousness, and delves deep into the affiliations of one of the 20th century’s most significant photographers.

Venue information

Opening times

Mon – Sun, 10am – 5pm
Last Wednesday of every other month, 10am – 9pm

"Art Fund" is the operating name of the National Art Collections Fund, a charity registered in England and Wales (209174) and Scotland (SC038331)