Vivian Maier – extraordinary street photographer

Vivian Maier - extraordinary street photographer

• Vivian Maier – extraordinary street photographer •
A mystery herself, she spent decades taking street photographs. Her work remained unknown until after her death.
[Image from Wikipedia External link - opens new tab/page]

Vivian Maier – was a very private woman

So private that knowledge of her 100,000 plus photos only emerged after her death. Working with a Rolliflex  External link - opens new tab/page about Rolliflex Cameras camera she paced the streets taking photos in her spare time. She kept her photographs in a lock up later in life. But eventually she ran out of money and its contents were sold. By a lucky coincidence a young real estate agent, John Maloof was at the sale. He recognised the historical value of the prints and negatives. He was president of the Jefferson Park Historical Society in Chicago. He bought a large number of the images and later acquired more. Today he has dedicated his time to developing the collection.

Maier made photographs of street scenes in Chicago and New York, in the 1950s and 1960s. She worked as a nanny for well off families in the Chicago area. She was totally committed to her photography. Although an amateur she produced a body of work to match any sophisticated artist. When John Maloof purchased her images he liberated a collection of images second to none. Vivian Maier died a virtual recluse. Research has shown that most of her life was known to very few people. As a very private person she did not share her images.

What is clear is the fantastic quality of her images. Her work shows a deep insight into the street life of the middle of the last century. Her artistry shows a wonderful appreciation of the human condition. Her insight reveals an outstanding historical reference. Now John Maloof has opened a new website showing some of the images Vivian Maier made in those years.

Vivian Maier – Excellent new website

The new website has nine portfolios of images made by Vivian Maier. Not just a few images either. These are exciting images of the highest quality, well produced and presented. There are some amazing images. The contrast work is exceptional. Maier worked in black and white as did most of her contemporaries. For me the exceptional nature of her work lies in the way she imparted great depth of contrast and perspective into the images. Her wonderful talent as a photographer has been superbly presented in this website. The images are just stunning.

The site goes much further than the excellence of the images. There is an informative biography of the woman and her life and photography. There is also an FAQ page with a range of questions answered about the images, and how they were bought to to the public.

John Maloof has put a lot of effort into bringing the work of Vivian Maier to the public. He has written a couple of books and his research has been done in great depth. All the effort has paid off. The website is of high quality and provides an excellent resource for those who seek great art or who want an insight into street photography. And if you just love great black and white photography, the site is really worth a visit just for that. Vivian Maier was an extraordinary woman and photographer. John Maloof has done a great job of opening up a life that should be celebrated for such exceptional photography.

You can visit the new site at External link - opens new tab/page

Comments, additions, amendments or ideas on this article? Contact Us
or why not leave a comment at the bottom of the page…

Like this article? Don’t miss the next — sign up for tips by email.

Damon Guy - Netkonnexion

Damon Guy (Netkonnexion)

Damon is a writer-photographer and editor of this site. He has run some major websites, a computing department and a digital image library. He started out as a trained teacher and now runs training for digital photogs.
See also: Editors ‘Bio’.
By Damon Guy see his profile on Google+.

Comments are closed.