Roland Penrose and Lee Miller at Farley Farm

by Anthony Penrose
8 April 2010

Lee Miller and Roland Penrose
Lee Miller and Roland Penrose, Arizona 1946. Photographer unknown
© Lee Miller Archives, England 2009. All rights reserved.

Lee Miller (1907- 1977) was an American photographer with many facets – she was a Surrealist artist who collaborated with Man Ray, a beautiful model, a fashion photographer, a war photojournalist and an exceptional portrait photographer. In Paris she met and later married the Surrealist artist Roland Penrose. She is mainly known for her witty Surrealist images and the thousand photographs of Picasso she took during the thirty-six years of their friendship.

Roland Penrose (1900-1984) was a major figure in Surrealism in Britain, also promoting many aspects of contemporary English art. In 1936 he helped organise the International Surrealist Exhibition in London and in 1947 founded with Herbert Read the Institute of Contemporary Arts. He also wrote many books including Picasso: His Life and Works.

In this lecture Anthony Penrose presents an intimate, witty account of the lives of his parents and their friends using illustrations which draw on many of Lee Miller’s photographs and paintings by Roland Penrose as well as works by the many friends of the family now held by the Penrose Collection.

Anthony Penrose

Anthony Penrose

Anthony Penrose is the son of Roland Penrose and Lee Miller. He grew up in his family home, Farley Farm House, in Chiddingly, East Sussex which he describes as being ‘a continuous arts congress’. Many of the great figures of modern art were visitors – Pablo Picasso, Joan Miro, Max Ernst, Man Ray, Henry Moore and Eileen Agar and were part of this unique crossover of painting, sculpture, literature and drama that helped to shape modern art in Britain..

For the past 25 years Anthony Penrose has run the Lee Miller Archives and the Penrose Collection located in Farley Farm House in Sussex..

He lectures at venues around the world and has published a number of publications including • The Lives of Lee Miller, Thames&Hudson • Lee Miller’s War, (Editor), Thames&Hudson • The Home of the Surrealists, Frances Lincoln • Roland Penrose the Friendly Surrealist, Prestel.