An article in this week's issue of the New Yorker had us thinking about personage. It seems New York is the only place you can escape the American obsession with celebrity (not that it can't be found), and yet The New Yorker understands the importance of rewarding true distinction with a heady word count. And boy are we better off.
Who the flip is Lee Miller? Good question.
Lee Miller was a woman who used to date Man Ray. See, there's the ticket. You remember being told that once, right? Yeah, so do we. After the jump, a quick profile that includes a little more than Man Ray, if you should miss the six page (not page six) article.
Lee Miller was a New Yorker. She had a strange family, namely a father who took pictures of her naked, standing on their Poughkeepsie front lawn. She became a model in the 1920's (apparently having been discovered, by Conde Nast, walking in front of a speeding car) and later became a photographer. During that transition, she traveled to Paris and demanded that Man Ray take her on as his student. He did so and they entwined for years. Man Ray was eventually embittered with her promiscuity and her articulation that she contributed to his work. They split but she was talented enough to make it on her own. Vogue always wanted her either as model or photographer (except once, when they thought her reputation might be wavering, then they waited it out for a minute) and she also had loads of famous friends who painted and photographed her. Later, she became an accomplished photojournalist, documenting London wreckage during The Second World War.