When Vivian Maier’s archive was discovered in Chicago in 2007, the photography community gained an immense and singular talent. Maier lived in relative obscurity until her death in 2009, but is now the subject of films and books, and recognized as one of the great American photographers of the 20th century. Born in New York in 1926, she worked as a nanny in New York and Chicago for much of her adult life. It was during her years as a nanny that she took many of the photographs that have made her posthumously famous. Maier’s incredible body of work consists of more than 150,000 photographic images, Super 8 and 16 mm films, various recordings and a multitude of undeveloped films.
Working primarily as a street photographer, Maier’s work has been compared with such luminaries as Helen Levitt, Robert Frank, Diane Arbus and Joel Meyerowitz. Drawing on previously unpublished archives and recent scientific analyses, this retrospective sheds new light on Maier’s work. With texts by Anne Morin and Christa Blümlinger, this thorough look at Maier’s entire archive is organized thematically in sections that cover self-portraits, the street, portraits, gestures, cinematography, children, colour work and forms. A valuable addition to the continuing assessment of Maier’s work, this book is a one-volume compendium of her most enduring images.