Finding Vivian Maier

Vivian Maier (1926-2009) is an American amature street photographer who’s work has been discovered by historian John Maloof and has since received critical acclaim.

John Maloof had stumbled upon an undiscovered artist whose photography is now being compared to the giants, a reclusive woman who, in death, is attracting the kind of attention and acclaim she would have shunned in life. Maier worked for about 40 years as a nanny in Chicago of which during that time took about 100,000 photographs.  Maier’s photos range from 1949 to the mid-1990s. What makes her work special is that “she had an open and inclusive and very fundamental idea of what constituted ‘America’ that was missed by a lot of photographers in the 1950s and ’60s,” says Allan Sekula.

“It’s both the variety and a kind of quirky democratic energy of street life. She connected herself through the camera to the street in a way that gave her a charmed presence. She had this ability … to be accepted or at the very least tolerated and ignored and thus see people behave naturally.”

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