I first heard of Vivian Maier a couple of years ago while watching the evening news, but it wasn’t until today when I came across a link on Facebook about a documentary coming out this year on her life and the discovery of her work that I really began to pay attention to the whole story.
Vivian Maier could well be the most important street photographer of the 20th century. Yet it wasn’t until 2007 that her story began to unravel when an historical hobbyist named John Maloof purchased, at auction, an old box of negatives that had never been seen or developed. What John Maloof ended up with was over 100,000 negatives which the auction house had told him had been abandoned in a storage locker in Chicago.
It quickly became clear that these stunning snippets of life from the 1950’s and 1960’s were not your run-of-the-mill images. So John began digging into the story further and within a few years, the art world had been turned on its ear.
This amazingly talented photographer, who called herself a sort-of-spy, was able to capture the most wonderfully candid shots of people of all walks of life. She would probably be appalled at all the fuss that her photography is receiving now, as she was an intensely private woman, who in her adult life worked on and off as a nanny in both New York and Chicago for 40 years.
On her days off, she would walk the streets with her Rollieflex camera taking pictures of anything and everything that she found interesting.
I cannot wait for this documentary to come out.
You can read the story here:
Images are thanks to John Maloof’s Vivian Maier collection.