Crate of Curios part 45

Yet another week with a day’s delay of publishing this week’s Crate, and considering the number of views last week’s one got compared to pretty much all the previous ones, I’m considering moving it permanently to Monday evening. After all, one is vain and wants this little weekly collection to be seen and read by as many eyes as possible. That said, this time I’ll start with someone who was able catch their contemporaries’ eyes both by their looks and their extraordinary work. And now… it’s time to open the Crate.

  1. Lee Miller was born in New York in an upper-middle class family, but had for several reasons for the lack of a better word, a rather complicated childhood. A chance encounter with the magazine publisher Condé Nast on Manhattan led to her becoming a model for Vogue in 1927. However, Miller’s inner restlessness and desire to create led her to move to Paris in 1929, at the age of 24 to become an apprentice of the Surrealist photographer Man Ray. The Paris phase in her life is fascinatingly described in Whitney Scharer’s “The Age of Light”. By 1939, she had moved to London owing to a relationship with a Surrealist artist and sculptor Ronald Penrose, and started to work as a photographer and contributor for Vogue. In 1942 she got her accreditation as a war photographer and left for Europe to report on the horrors of WWII. After the war she seems to have suffered from heavy post-traumatic stress (which went non-acknowledged at the time), leading her to periods of depression and bouts of drinking. In 1947 Miller, her now-husband Penrose and their newborn son Anthony moved to Farley’s House in Sussex where she lived until the end of her life. She stopped working as a photographer, reinventing herself instead as a gourmet cook and never showed her earlier work during her lifetime. Her son Anthony found the archive of her photographs containing thousands of images, in their attic after her death. The photograph used for illustration is Lee Miller taking a bath in Hitler’s bathtub.

2. Video games always seem to be full of action… except for this one that lets you “do nothing in particular in a suburban Russian tower block”.

3. Is it a treasure chest? Is it a rainbow? No, it’s just Linda Miller Nicholson’s rainbow pasta.

4. Ever wondered how strong is the bite of different animals? Time to find out.

5. I’ve mentioned Austin Kleon in this newsletter before and I’ll undoubtedly also do so in the future. This time around it’s his piece about reading first and writing after that resonated with me.

6.  And to finish off for this week, here’s Freud’s little secret of giving a good lecture.

And that’s it for this time. Happy reading and until next week!

If you want to receive the Crate to your mailbox, you can subscribe here at Substack.