10
Mar
16

vivian maier

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A couple nights ago on Netflix, I watched the 2013 documentary, “Finding Vivian Meier,” and was totally blown away.

Vivian Dorothy Maier (February 1, 1926 – April 21, 2009) was an American street photographer who worked for about forty years as a nanny, mostly in Chicago’s North Shore, pursuing photography during her spare time. She took more than 150,000 photographs during her lifetime. As the documentary makes clear, she was a very odd person whose secret life made her misunderstood by almost everyone who met her.

During her lifetime, Maier’s photographs were unknown and unpublished, and she never printed many of her negatives. A Chicago collector, John Maloof, acquired some of Maier’s photos in 2007, while two other Chicago-based collectors, Ron Slattery and Randy Prow, also found some of Maier’s prints and negatives in her boxes and suitcases around the same time.

Maier’s photographs were first published on the Internet by Slattery in July 2008, but the work received little response. In October 2009, Maloof linked his blog to a selection of Maier’s photographs on the image-sharing website Flickr, and the results went “viral,” with thousands of people expressing interest. Critical acclaim and interest in Maier’s work quickly followed, and since then, Maier’s photographs have been exhibited in North America, Europe, Asia, and South America.

I knew nothing about Maier until seeing the film the other night. This meager selection hardly does justice to her body of work; I encourage you to watch the documentary and check her out. You’ll be amazed.

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۞

Groove of the Day

Listen to The Animals performing “Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood”

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64° Partly Cloudy and Windy

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