Fascinating talk coming to Tenby Museum

Posted by Tenby Museum on Jun 30, 2019 Blog, Event Archive No Comments

On Saturday 20 July Tenby Museum & Art Gallery, in conjunction with the History Shed Experience, is fortunate to have Tony Penrose giving a double talk at the museum. Tony is son of renowned photographer Lee Miller.

The talks are entitled Lee Miller & Dylan Thomas and Lee Miller: Women At War.

Lee Miller first met Dylan Thomas during the Blitz. She had arrived in London to be with Roland Penrose in 1939 and lived with him in his house in Downshire Hill, Hampstead. Thomas was a frequent visitor, having known Penrose more than a decade. In 1936 he was present at the opening of the First International Surrealist Exhibition and was a well-known attender of openings at Penrose’s London Gallery. The friendship continued and in December 1946 she photographed him for Vogue magazine. Later in 1950 Thomas was to play the role of ‘Onion’ in Desire Caught By The Tail, a play by Pablo Picasso, translated and produced by Penrose. This is the charming story of a Thomas’s little known intersection with the world of the surrealists, a world he enjoyed although he was known to reject some of the movement’s underlying ideas.

Lee Miller, Surrealist photographer, fashion model and photographer of fashion is thought to have become the only woman combat photographer with the allied infantry in Europe during WW II covering the Blitz to the allied invasion and advance across Europe to the grim aftermath of the post-war years in Austria, Hungary and Romania. For Miller a woman at war was any woman caught in the madness called war. We see the true professionalism of the WRNS, ATS, WRVS, the Land Army girls and the housewives struggling along the street with pots of water after the water main was destroyed in the Blitz. We see the quiet heroism of nurses working round the clock in field hospitals, and the humiliation of shaven headed French girls accused of having German boyfriends. She confronts us with the women holocaust survivors, and the freed slave labourers. The soignée of couture contrasts indelibly with the destitution of refugees. Her style is up-close, personal, sometimes tender and often angry. Miller herself was a woman at war. This is also her own story.

The talk starts at 6.30 and the event runs until 8.30. Tickets are extremely limited and cost £10 (£8 for Friends of the Museum). To book please contact the museum on 01834 842809 or via email info@tenbymuseum.org.uk