In the footsteps of Lee Miller and the surrealists: a tour of her arty Sussex retreat

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A film about the war photographer and model Lee Miller will be released this year. Her son is our guide for a trip to Farleys, her art-filled Sussex home

There’s an original Picasso tile – of an abstract face with a yellow nose – roughly cemented into the wall above the Aga in the kitchen of Farleys House in East Sussex. “Patsy [the housekeeper] used to scrub it with Vim,” says Jenny, my guide. “Lee and Roland believed art was to be lived with – not just for a museum.”

The pair in question are Lee Miller (American model, muse, fashion photographer turned second world war correspondent for Vogue) and her husband, Roland Penrose (surrealist painter, author and co-founder of London’s Institute of Contemporary Art). They moved into this house in Muddles Green, Chiddingly, with their two-year-old son Antony in 1949. From the street, the modest Queen Anne facade gives no hint of the colourful world inside.

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