Partners in Surrealism: Lee Miller and Man Ray

Lee Miller’s lips fly over a forest in Man Ray’s Observatory Time - The Lovers, an oil painting from 1934. [Source: The Israel Museum/Man Ray Trust /NPR]

The surrealist art of Lee Miller and Man Ray are presented together for the first time in a museum show, Man Ray/Lee Miller, Partners in Surrealism. Anthony Penrose, Miller’s son, and curator Phillip Prodger discuss the artists on NPR:

A new exhibit celebrates the work of two Surrealist artists: first lovers, and later, friends. Elizabeth Lee Miller was an actress, a model, and a war correspondent, who had an intoxicating effect on her lovers. One of those lovers was the avant-garde American artist Man Ray. His love for her nearly drove him to madness — and also inspired some of his most well-known work.

Miller was Ray’s muse, but she became an accomplished photographer in her own right. Now, their work is displayed together for the first time at the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, Mass., in an exhibit called Man Ray/Lee Miller, Partners in Surrealism.

The couple’s devastating breakup in 1932 inspired some of their most famous works of art. But Man Ray and Lee Miller reconciled in 1937 and stayed close for the rest of their lives. They are pictured together in London in 1975. [Source: Eileen Tweedy/The Roland Penrose Collection/NPR]

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