Vivian Maier

April 11, 2013

Vivian Maier 1 Vivian Maier 2 56-848 Fall, 1953 Sept 28, 1959, 108th St. East, New York, NY 2792

By Koseli.

Have you heard of Vivian Maier? She’s the undiscovered nanny/photographer, who took absolutely incredible street shots of New York and Chicago from the 1950s-1990s. But she so vigorously hid her talent, it wasn’t until after she passed away that over 100,000 negatives of hers surfaced in a thrift auction house in Chicago’s Northwest side.

Since then, she’s been called one of the best photographers of the second half of the twentieth century for her poignant captures of Urban America.

Isn’t that amazing? You can see more of her photos here and a compelling trailer for a documentary on Vivian here.

P.S. — I learned about Vivian on Mieke Willem’s blog.

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Just Moms » Blog Archive » Vivian Maier
April 11, 2013 at 8:15 pm

{ 36 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Susan McDonough April 11, 2013 at 9:00 am

This made me tingle all over! I never heard of her. I can’t wait to find out more. Thank you!


2 Koseli Cummings April 17, 2013 at 10:45 am

You’re so welcome, Susan. Me too.


3 Ann April 11, 2013 at 9:16 am

I read about her in National Geographic and was so blown away by this story. I CANNOT wait to see this documentary! Thanks for refreshing my memory!


4 Koseli Cummings April 17, 2013 at 10:44 am

Absolutely, Ann! She really is so amazing. I can’t believe she kept it under wraps her entire life. Hope to find out so much more about her in the documentary.


5 Giulia April 11, 2013 at 9:31 am

What wonderful work. Isn’t that interesting how she hid her talents. These days that happens so seldom with all the self-promotion we are encouraged to do in this crazy social media world.


6 becky April 11, 2013 at 9:48 am

Thanks for sharing this find. Her work is stunning.


7 caroline April 11, 2013 at 10:07 am

First comment for you ! Thank you so much for this discovery. Her photo are amazing. What a wonderfull testimony.


8 Koseli Cummings April 17, 2013 at 10:45 am

Thanks Caroline!


9 jody April 11, 2013 at 10:34 am

So fascinating….love her work. im going to learn more…and pick up my camera today! thanks for the inspiration.


10 becky April 11, 2013 at 11:08 am

i can’t drag myself away from her pictures. i am sitting going picture by picture through her portfolios – she has a detached haunting perspective…fascinating and rare. thanks for introducing me to her. i needed a dose of inspiration this morning.


11 Giulia April 11, 2013 at 11:35 am

oh my! i am in loooove with vivian maier. i found out about her a while back in a photography magazine and then researched a lot online but there was almost no info about her then. you cannot believe how excited i got when i saw they are making a movie. how beautiful are her pictures, every single one of them and as a collection.
thank you so much for sharing, koseli!


12 Koseli Cummings April 17, 2013 at 10:46 am

You are so welcome, Giulia! That are SO incredible.


13 Teresa April 11, 2013 at 11:45 am

Unbelievable story… so compelling and provocative. Thank you for sharing about her, absolutely can not wait to see the documentary.


14 Women BLog April 11, 2013 at 11:45 am

I’ve never heard about her, but photos are really very amazing. It’s seemed that you are now at 50′s, her photos show you the life of that time, real life!


15 Koseli Cummings April 17, 2013 at 10:46 am

Oh, I know. I can’t wait to see an exhibition here in NYC!


16 Carter Higgins April 11, 2013 at 12:16 pm

I hearts-for-eyeballs love her. LOVE.


17 Jen @ RamblingRenovators April 11, 2013 at 12:17 pm

I’ve been a fan of her work ever since I stumbled upon this blog: The purchaser of her negatives has been sharing her work over the years. So fun to see the film trailer.


18 Koseli Cummings April 17, 2013 at 10:47 am

Ah! Thank you Jen! More inside information for super fans.


19 Jennifer April 11, 2013 at 12:54 pm

What a treasure. Thank you for sharing.


20 Janelle Chapman April 11, 2013 at 4:49 pm

I live in Australia. I have seen Vivian Maier’s story and been fascinated as well.
In my small country town in the late 1800′s there was a studio photographer who captured thousands of portraits of families and soldiers going to war ( many who never returned). He also documented the towns daily activities and buildings and landscapes.
Incredibly many of the glass negatives were “lost”. They surfaced when a tradesman was helping an elderly lady to clean out her garage. She said take everything to the rubbish dump. He was curious as to what were in many boxes and amazed to find the “lost” negatives! They have been restored printed and documented where possible with identities and are now archived in our State Library forever.
In a little arcade in town the local Historical Society displays unidentified photos on the chance that someone may recognise a past relative or friend. Time is moving on and the chance of this is becoming less . I LOVE these stories !


21 Lizzie April 11, 2013 at 6:30 pm

I was in the Chicago Museum of History when they were filming part of the documentary about her – her work was being shown in the gallery space there. It was entrancing.

Thank you for sharing this!


22 Koseli Cummings April 17, 2013 at 10:47 am

Oh so cool, Lizzie!


23 Maria April 11, 2013 at 7:07 pm

What a wonderful post! How great that her work was found and shared, and that now so many will come to know about her and her work. Her photography is amazing. So looking forward to the documentary.


24 CiaoChessa April 11, 2013 at 7:53 pm

I love her work and it’s so inspiring to learn how she was discovered and how they are showing her amazing and evocative work to the world. I can’t wait for this film.


25 Deborah April 11, 2013 at 8:31 pm

Thank you for posting this story! I was just facinated by her story and work. Hoping that it will travel here to Seattle. Really looking forward to seeing the documentary. Thank you again!


26 Marissa April 11, 2013 at 9:08 pm

This is more fascinating than I can even find words for. I’m so inspired and creeped out and fascinated by this.


27 Farris Jornales April 11, 2013 at 9:41 pm

I’m fascinated by her works. It’s too bad that her talents were only discovered after she died. Colored pictures, even the ones wearing illuminating clothes doesn’t even compare to this. There’s depth and meaning to the pictures.


28 Martha April 12, 2013 at 2:28 am

My heart is breaking and laughing as I look through the portfolios, I can’t wait for the documentary.


29 Dervla @ The Curator April 12, 2013 at 11:20 am

these pictures are blowing me away…amazing.


30 Moitreyee Chowdhury April 13, 2013 at 10:46 pm

You keep surprising me with your talent of finding the uncommon. Thank you, thank you. You have opened up my world hundred folds.


31 Koseli Cummings April 17, 2013 at 10:48 am

Thank you so much! So glad you love it.


32 Justyn April 15, 2013 at 4:44 am

I am in a full tilt obsession with her images. We even “homeschooled” Vivian Maier today (and she inspired my recent purchase of a Rolleiflex!).


33 Koseli Cummings April 17, 2013 at 10:48 am

Oh, that’s so awesome.


34 Tulisaa April 23, 2013 at 11:20 am

First Time I heard of this woman but looks like I have some researching to do now, Thanks


35 Kimberly May 2, 2013 at 7:05 am

So many thoughts, feelings, came to me while reading and then viewing the photographs and video. She chose to live her life as an observer — a spy, she had called herself. When her friend said, why didn’t she tell me, pausing then to say she would have hated all this, I understood Vivian. She created for reasons only known to hear. Not for profit that is a given and that is what intrigues me the most about Vivian. Something moves me to applaud her loudly for the choice, though I am grateful the photographs hadn’t been lost. We are the richer for the discovery. I am quite certain the world is overflowing with the undiscovered and choosing to remain as such. I thank you for your HOME TOURS and introducing me to this intriguing woman. Lovely site!


36 suzie June 3, 2013 at 2:18 pm

i’ve been looking for her! i saw her photos of the little girl she nannied a couple years ago and fell in love. thanks kos!


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