Vivan Maier

In 2007, John Maloof, a Chicago historian and collector looking for old pictures of the city of Chicago, found a box of negatives which he bought in an auction for $400. The negatives presented an enormous historic relevance concerning that city in the 1960s. With a growing interest for the unknown author of these pictures, Vivian Maier, he acquired a collection of about 150 000 of her negatives, along with prints, films, and piles of paper she had gathered. Going into some research, he soon found out who she was. Born in New York in 1926, growing up in France, Vivian Maier returned to the United States where she worked in Chicago as a nanny for 40 years. She began photographing around the 1950s, up until the 1990s, without anyone ever knowing her as an artist. However, taking pictures of the daily life in the streets of Chicago, of the beach and her travels, the work she left behind is not only immense but also amazingly beautiful. Eventually she died in 2009, without almost being known, but she has not been forgotten, thanks to John Maloof’s archive which gathers almost 90% of her work, and has been exposed in recent years in many cities around the world. You can see her work and read more about her life here!

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