Lee Miller and a Tale of Two Houses
From 20th September - 31st October 2017
- Lee Miller: a cross-section of her fashion, friends and Sussex-inspired photographic work
- A Tale of Two Houses: an exhibition of photographs taken by Tony Tree of Charleston and Farleys House
Lee Miller (1907 -1977) was one of the most original photographers of the twentieth century. She recorded some of that century’s darkest and most shameful episodes as well as many of its creative and liberating geniuses and yet until recently her work was forgotten.
Born in Poughkeepsie, New York state, USA, Lee Miller was often photographed by her father Theodore. Learning from him, Miller began taking photographs in her teens and travelled to Paris in 1929, rapidly becoming part of the avant-garde art world, producing surrealist-inspired photographs. There she became friends with many artists, including Man Ray, Pablo Picasso, Max Ernst and Roland Penrose, whom she was to marry in 1947. In the Second World War, Miller was an official US Forces War correspondent and came into her own as a photo-journalist, documenting and witnessing events in war-torn Europe. In 1949, Miller & Penrose settled at Farley Farm in Sussex, which then became a place of pilgrimage for artists, art lovers and their many friends. Miller continued to take photographs on occasion in her later years, but also developed a passion for cookery.
She died in 1977.
This exhibition shows a cross-section of Lee Miller’s fashion, friends and Sussex-inspired photographic work provided courtesy of Farleys House and Gallery, and Lee Miller Archives, and is on display in the hotel’s reception and atrium gallery.
A Tale of Two Houses
Photography by Tony Tree
Tony Tree’s professional career spans more than 50 years. He began in Vogue Studios working at House and Garden in the 1960’s and then travelled the world as an assistant to many of the decade’s most famous fashion photographers including David Bailey and Helmut Newton for Vogue Magazine.
Wanting to work in the Sussex he knew and loved, he undertook commissions from national magazines and newspapers photographing writers, potters, artists as well as documentary work and in the late 70’s he joined the Brighton based Evening Argus newspaper, initially to gain journalistic experience and thought that a couple of years would do it. But he stayed on for over 20 years.
Tree recalled: “No two days were the same, travelling the county to photograph features on people, places and events. That was far more rewarding to me than a two week fashion shoot of the latest Haute Couture fur coats among Moroccan sand dunes. I had truly great experiences but I felt more at ease on my home ground. In fact, I loved it.”
As part of a Millennium project, Tree worked with Brighton and Hove’s many ethnic and diverse nationality groups to create a photo essay depicting how different cultures and traditions contribute to life in our local community. It became a collaboration and Tree took more than 3000 black and white photographs of the celebrations rarely seen by the community at large.
In recent years Tree has gone back to his love of photographing interiors and art, working at Charleston Farm House and Farleys House. His association with these homes of Sussex artists goes back to 1975 at Charleston and the 1980’s at Farleys House.
For the latter, he has recently produced the photographs for many projects including the latest edition of the book The Home of The Surrealists by Antony Penrose which has been re-published this summer 2017.
The Tale of Two Houses exhibition comprises photographs taken by Tony Tree of both Farleys House and Charleston and is provided courtesy of Farleys House and Gallery. The work is on display in the hotel’s bar gallery.
The exhibition is free and will be open every day from 9 am to 9 pm with full disabled access. All the Lee Miller artwork is for sale and can be purchased via reception and taken away on purchase or at the end of the exhibition. The Tale of Two Houses photographic work displayed in the bar is not for sale, but smaller unmounted prints of the same images may be purchased from reception and will be posted to the purchaser.
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