Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Vivian Dorothea Maier (1926-2009) was an American street photographer, who was born in New York City and spent much of her childhood in France. After returning to the United States, Maier worked for about forty years as a nanny, mostly in Chicago. During those years, she took more than 150,000 photographs, primarily of people and architecture of New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles, although she traveled and photographed worldwide.

Before selfie was a word. Self-portrait by Vivian Maier.

Maier’s photographs remained unknown, and many of her films remained undeveloped, until her boxes of possessions were purchased at auction. A Chicago historian and collector, John Maloof, examined the images and began posting scans of Maier’s photographic negatives on the web in 2009, soon after Maier’s death. Critical acclaim and interest in Maier’s work quickly followed. Maier’s photographs have been exhibited in the USA, Europe, and Asia and introduced in many articles throughout the world. Her life and work have been the subject of both books and documentary films.

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