February 1, 1926 – April 21, 2009
Perhaps you've already heard about this fascinating woman who has stunned the photographic community with her very real and informal photographs of Chicago streets, its people and various other locations around the world, but in case you haven't, I thought I would share a bit about her.
Like many famous artists, Miss Maier was, unfortunately, unknown to the world until a few years after her passing, when her photography was discovered by a local historian at an auction. This gentleman stumbled across her work from the contents of an old storage locker that belonged to Miss Maier and was acquired by the auction house. Amazingly, her work consists of more than 100,000 negatives, some still in undeveloped rolls of film!
Apparently, Miss Maier was just content enough to enjoy photography as a personal hobby and never showed her work to a single person. When she passed, she was surviving off of a social security and living in an apartment that children which she had been a nanny for, were paying for.
Her work is absolutely wonderful and I urge you to research and see what she saw through her camera lens. She definitely had an artistic eye and was able to portray all of her subjects with careful thought and emotion.
I wanted to blog about her because my previous post dealt with Masters of Photography and after seeing her work, I definitely feel like she was a master at her craft as well. I can't help but feel sad, knowing that had her work been exposed during her lifetime, she may have had a richer, more comfortable life. However being that not much is known about her personal life, she may have been perfectly content, enjoying her hobby.
To find out more about Vivian Maier, check out the resources below:
Vivian Maier - Her Discovered Work - a blog by the curator of most of her works
Vivian Maier Photography - a website dedicated to the work and life of her
Vivian Maier on Wikipedia