New film and gallery exhibit celebrate iconic photographer Lee Miller

BySandy Kenyon WABC logo
Wednesday, November 15, 2023
New film, gallery exhibit celebrate iconic photographer Lee Miller
Sandy Kenyon has more on the new film and art exhibition.

NEW YORK CITY -- A new movie, out soon, and a major exhibit at a gallery on New York City's Upper East Side, have put Lee Miller back in the spotlight almost half a century after her death.

The movie is a passion project from Oscar winner Kate Winslet, who has spent eight years bringing Miller's story to the big screen.

Born in Poughkeepsie, New York, Miller first came to fame as a model in New York City before stepping behind the camera to become a top photographer.

Telling you about her feels to me like a privilege.

She is one of my favorite artists, because of the splendid work she created, but also because of the dramatic life she led.

Her gaze inspired some of the most famous artists of the 20th century, Picasso among them.

Miller was a muse and a model. But she also moved far beyond the limits of those roles, redefining herself again and again.

"She wasn't scared to push against the boundaries," said Miller's granddaughter, Ami Bouhassane.

Her granddaughter is the keeper of her flame and worked closely with Winslet, who plays Miller in the new movie, called simply "Lee."

"It has been by far the most important preparation for any role that I've ever done," Winslet told British Vogue.

British Vogue is the magazine Miller worked for when she covered World War 2 on assignment.

"Her documentation, for example, of the liberation of the concentration camps, are... her images are, among some of the most significant historical images ever taken," said Winslet.

The origins of Miller's later imagery lie at the Gagosian Gallery on New York's Upper East Side, where a new multi-media exhibit, "Seeing is Believing" has just opened.

"It's an incredible moment to have her coming back to New York because obviously she was born in Poughkeepsie, New York, and to actually have her recognized within the circle, firmly within the circle of artists that she knew," said Bouhassane.

Paintings, photographs, letters and more help restore Miller to her proper place in the history of the 20th century.

"She did have many lives," said exhibit curator Jason Ysenburg. "Very often, you know, people do one thing in their life. Lee Miller kept on doing different things well. She never stopped."

Now a new generation gets to learn all about Lee Miller through the film and the exhibit - and that exhibit at the Gagosian Gallery is free!

Between now and December 22nd, just head over to 976 Madison Avenue in New York City to check it out.

It's an hour or two very well spent, and it won't cost you anything.

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