Thursday, May 9, 2013

The legend that is Vivian Maier

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.

 

January, 1953, New York, NY

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.

 

Untitled, 1956

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.

 

Self-portrait:

September 10th, 1955, New York City

On her days off, she would walk the streets with her Rollieflex camera taking pictures of anything and everything that she found interesting.

 

End of April, 1953, New York, NY

January, 1953, New York, NY

Undated, New York, NY

Untitled, Undated

I cannot wait for this documentary to come out.

 

Untitled, Self Portrait

You can read the story here:

Found at Auction: The Unseen Photographs of a Legend that Never Was

 

123 Signature[5]

Images are thanks to John Maloof’s Vivian Maier collection.

34 comments:

mrs mediocrity said...

Wow. So cool. Now I can't wait either!

Ellen Reed said...

Isn't the quality of film wonderful?!!
The blackest of blacks.....and the whitest of whites....
whoever print these, knew what they were doing....not an easy task, obviously printed by a master in the dark room....Thank you so much for bringing them to my attention!...smiles....

Anonymous said...

Kate, L. here from Crazyasaloom. There is a coffee table book you can buy off Amazon with her photos in it. I read her story and wanted to see the book.. i passed it around to those who i thought would enjoy it and then donated it to my local library. She was a nanny for Phil Donahue and he said that he had no clue what she did on her days off except she would be gone for most of them. Really interesting and i ALSO am awaiting the Documentary!!! Lois

Chesapeake Bay Woman said...

These are stunning. I'd love to see the documentary.

Rural Revival said...

What an incredible talent. Thanks for bringing her work to my attention; I must see more!

Low Tide High Style said...

Very cool, I will definitely be watching the documentary!

Kat

Navigating Northward said...

Wow. Amazing photos.

spindrift,maine said...

Thanks, Kate. Serendipitously dropped by today, and boy am I glad I did. What lovely photos! I will look for this video, too. Hope you and yours are well. xo

Reena Walkling said...

Her work is awesome!

DesertHen said...

What an incredible story! Now I too shall await the documentary.

Hilary said...

Wasn't she just amazing? I read about her a few years back also, and looked at hundreds of her photos at that time. She epitomizes street photography. Just such an amazing collection of perfection.

Sweetpea said...

A friend of mine in Maine first left a link for me about Vivian ~ I think it was last year. I hopped over to the website and stayed there for quite some time. This friend & I had been photo buddies quite awhile back and well, she knew me well enough to know ... that I needed to know about this collection. It's a joy to see you talk about her here, CG. I cannot wait for the documentary either.

Gayle said...

The photo of the couple at a table, look, she even has her gloves on the top of her purse (or should I say, pocketbook).

Caroline said...

I was obsessed with her story...still am. What she captured was so "real". No photoshopping to create emotion. What a find! I mean...could you imagine buying up old negatives and it turns out to be worth millions? I think the guy paid $25 or something ridiculous like that! Wow...just wow.

Hilary said...

Beautiful photos.......yes, that will be a great documentary.
Thanks for sharing it. L didn't even tell me!!!! WTH

thecrazysheeplady said...

I can't wait either!!!

Kerri said...

Can't wait to see it! Great post Kate!

becky up the hill said...

This is a great story and so curious. Thanks for bringing it to your reader's attention!

Jeanette said...

Love these!

thotlady said...

Lovely.

Mary said...

Oh, I could get lost in those gorgeous blacks! What a fabulous story and beautiful images!

Daryl said...

the first photo was taken on riverside drive overlooking riverside park ... and a friend gave me her book as a birthday gift ...

Jeanne Walker said...

I love black and whites...amazing photos. For those of us who don't watch too much tv, please post when you find out when it's to be broadcast! Hope you have an amazing weekend!

mudmaven said...

I saw that story and was completely entranced. Can't wait! ~chris

Sabrina said...

Wow oh wow! This is awesome! Now I want to see this documentary too :)

Gail said...

News to me, talent is outstanding.

Nellie said...

Stunning photography by a very talented woman!

GloryBabies3 said...

oh my word..the picture of the young lady in the car.....it looks like my mother

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Tracey from Haiku.You.Do said...

Oh. My. Gosh. I was so excited and inspired by her story I went to Amazon and bought to hardbacks of her collection. o_O

Thanks for showing me this amazing woman!

Carolynn Anctil said...

I've seen something about her somewhere else, although I don't recall the details. How great that she followed her muse.

Candace said...

That's fascinating. I like the guy at the end that says he wishes he were the one to discover these photos. Me, too. It's amazing how that one buy is changing the owner's life as well as bringing a wonderful artist to light.

Kathy Winter said...

I just saw an exhibit of her work in Tampa, Fl. I've been a fan of her work since I heard the story. The exhibit is fantastic, but is not related to the Maloof collection and the people creating the documentary.

Stickhorsecowgirls said...

Love this! Can't wait for the documentary!
V