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I love the story of Vivian Maier – a prolific and talented street photographer who who took over 100,000 images over her life yet showed nobody her work.
Her images were only uncovered and purchased by John Maloof in an auction after her storage locker was repossessed shortly before her death.
At the time of buying a box of Vivian’s negatives John didn’t even know the photographers name and had no idea about her talent – however as he began to examine and scan the images he realised he’d stumbled upon an amazing hidden archive of photos.
He tracked down more of her work that others had purchased in the auction and in doing so discovered Vivian’s name and began to also uncover pieces of her story. Viviane – who worked as a nanny – had taken up photography in 1949. She took most of her photos on days off, at first around New York and in Chicago where she moved in 1956.
She continued to shoot right through into the late 1990s but also shot film and recorded audio. When her work was discovered in 2007 there were over 100,000 negatives and many hundreds of rolls of unprocessed film in the collection. John began to scan and collate her work and shared some of it on a blog and later a website dedicated to the project.
In doing so the photography community around the world became aware of this previously undiscovered talent. Exhibitions around the world followed and more recently John started a Kickstarter project to create a documentary about Vivian Maier.
In the last week a Movie trailer for this full feature length documentary was released which tells more of Vivian’s story and the project.
You might also like to view this earlier video from Chicago tonight which also tells the story.