Photographic Treasury- Vivian Maier

coverI love photography so I was more than happy I was able to check this wonderful book Vivian Maier, Street Photographer out of the library.  Ms. Maier was born in 1926 in Europe and died in 2009 in Chicago. She worked many odd jobs but nobody really knew much about her. She was most known for her work as a nanny, working in various homes. What people didn’t know was she took photos. Not just photos. Excellent photos. She took her camera everywhere she went. When she worked as a nanny she dragged the children everywhere on excursions so she could take photos. I think at times the children were quite the inconvenience but she had a place to stay and some spending money and three freedom to roam the streets of Chicago. One day she took a couple of her charges through the slaughterhouse in Chicago, a very in appropriate place for children I would think but she wanted the photos. (I have not included any here!)

In 2007, the author of this book, John Maloof of Chicago was at a large sale and came across many boxes of her film, much of it undeveloped.  He had his own interests in photography and bought the lot. Over the next few years he sorted them, catalogued them until the job became too much and he turned it over to others to help him. He was responsible for establishing biographical information through her photos as much as he could.

Most of her photographs were taken during the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s. Although she continued to shoot pictures into the 1990s.

I recently watched the biography documentary of her life on Netflix that went right up to her death.  She was described as exceedingly private and eccentric. She also had mental health issues. She never married, she didn’t always get on with people and in the end she spent her time surrounded in her apartment by hoards of things she kept. She was a classic hoarder. No one knows how the thousands of film canisters came to be sold.

I enjoyed both the Netflix documentary and this book. I also looked her up on line and read quite a bit about her. Now I will share some photos of her work with you. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do. kidsthumbnailold manbeach mancurlerspoliceworkers


8 thoughts on “Photographic Treasury- Vivian Maier

  1. Wow, they are fantastic, aren’t they?
    I don’t think I’ve ever read a book about photography, but I always visit the photos when I go to the gallery and I like the B&W ones best of all.


  2. they remind me of some of James Agee’s work during the depression (photos by walker evans); true evocations of history… “Let Us Now Praise Famous Men” was the book…

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