Vivian Dorothea Maier (New York, February 1, 1926 - Chicago, April 21, 2009) was an American street photographer. She was born in New York, but spent much of her childhood in France. After her return to the United States, Maier first worked in New York, but from 1956 for forty years mainly in Chicago. She usually worked there as a nanny. The children Vivian Maier took care of describe her as a film critic, a socialist, a feminist, a simply-tell-how-it-is-type. She often wore a men's coat, men's shoes and a big hat. She almost always had a camera with her.
In those years, she took more than 150,000 photos, mostly of people and the architecture of New York, Chicago and Los Angeles. But around 1960 she also traveled to other parts of the world.
Maier's work remained unknown during her life and many of her film roles remained undeveloped. Shortly before her death, a few boxes containing her belongings were bought at an auction. A Chicago historian and collector, John Maloof, examined the photos and started scans of Maier’s photographic negatives from 2009 onwards and published it on the web. Positive criticism soon followed and further interest in her work arose. Maier's photographs have been exhibited in the United States, Europe and Asia and have been discussed in many articles around the world. In recent years, books and documentaries have been made about her life and work.
Below you can see an anthology of a number of her photos and other work in three videos, really remarkable that such a talent has managed to hide itself for so long. A series of photos that give much inspiration.
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