Special 75th anniversary edition for Lee Miller book

Self-portrait (with headband), Lee Miller © Lee Miller Archives England 2023Self-portrait (with headband), Lee Miller © Lee Miller Archives England 2023
Self-portrait (with headband), Lee Miller © Lee Miller Archives England 2023
To commemorate the 75th anniversary of Lee Miller and Roland Penrose’s move to Farleys, the East Sussex farmhouse they transformed into an artistic haven, Lee Miller Archives Publishing is unveiling The Home of the Surrealists – Special 75th Anniversary Edition.

Authored by Antony Penrose, son of Lee Miller and Roland Penrose, the illustrated volume offers a glimpse into the extraordinary world created by two influential artists. Together, they cultivated an exceptional collection of modern art within the walls of Farleys House.

The book’s release coincides with a broader season of celebrations around Farleys’ 75-year anniversary including themed workshops, special events, collaborative exhibitions across the UK and the landmark release of the highly anticipated LEE film starring executive producer Kate Winslet in the title role.

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Spokeswoman Sophie Thompson said: “Seventy-five years ago in 1949, American photographer Lee Miller and British curator and Surrealist artist Roland Penrose embarked on transforming Farleys from a tired farmhouse to a colourful home for the avant-garde. Farleys served as more than just a residence but as a crucible of collaboration and creativity. Hosting the most influential and important artistic luminaries of the 20th century, including Pablo Picasso, Dorothea Tanning, Man Ray, Françoise Gilot and Henry Moore, the house saw an illustrious parade of visitors, each leaving their mark on art history and Farleys guest book.”

In a new foreword, Joanna Moorhead says: “It’s hard to over-emphasise the impact of Penrose and Miller’s networking on the growing influence of modern art on the British art scene, and the importance of Farleys was clearly a big factor in the mix…

“Having a country retreat for these players to come to recharge their batteries, to have long chats about what mattered to them and why, and to come up with new ideas […] was a crucial part of the journey.”

Sophie added: “Establishing a new country home against the backdrop of post-war upheaval and austerity, Lee Miller harnessed cookery and entertaining to overcome trauma experienced as a photojournalist during the Second World War. The book includes many of Miller’s portraits of artist friends who were also grappling with the aftermath of global conflict and forging new art movements, many under Roland Penrose’s guidance as a Tate curator and co-founder of London’s Institute of Contemporary Art (The ICA).

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“The special anniversary edition of The Home of the Surrealists offers readers an intimate glimpse into the captivating world of Farleys, enriched by a new foreword by Joanna Moorhead, acclaimed biographer of surrealist icon Leonora Carrington. With additional insights into Farleys' contemporary significance with a new chapter, and specially commissioned photography by Tony Tree and Jim Holden, this edition promises to transport readers to The Home of British Surrealism.

“This highly-anticipated edition is a must-have for fans of Lee Miller, Surrealism, interior design and the rich tapestry of 20th-century modern art. A rare, limited edition collector’s range of just 75 hardback copies is also available, each signed by author Antony Penrose and presented in a bespoke, gold-foiled slipcase.”

Born in Poughkeepsie, New York, Lee Miller (1907-1977) began her photographic career as a top fashion model for American Vogue and Vanity Fair. In 1929 she became the assistant of the Surrealist photographer Man Ray in Paris before founding her own studio there.

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