Hula Seventy: Vivian Maier

Contributor post by Andrea of Hula Seventy



By now, you've probably all read or heard about Vivian Maier-- a nanny/amateur street photographer whose extraordinary photographs remained unknown (and mostly undeveloped) until they were discovered shortly after she died by a young man named John Maloof. If you haven't yet heard the story, then you're in for a treat. Born in New York but raised in France, Vivian Maier moved back to the states and worked as a nanny in Chicago for forty years. During that time, she took about 100,000 photos.

I first discovered her work about a year ago. I'd fallen down an internet rabbit hole one night (as I so often do) and somehow found myself at John Maloof's blog-- the one he started to share her photographs and chronicle the process. I found myself visiting again and again, hoping to see more work posted, hoping to hear a little bit more about her life. Recently, it seems as if the whole story has sort of blown up (it's everywhere) and this is such a good thing. To see her story, her work finally getting the attention it so deserves... well, it's exciting and not something that we often get to watch unfold in real time.

I'd love to share a few Vivian Maier favorites with you today. A few that take my breath away, a few that I keep revisiting:












You can see more of Vivian's Maier's work over at the blog and there's a wonderful piece about her that you can watch here. Currently, a documentary is in the works and there's more information about that over at kickstarter. And if you're in the Chicago area, check out the first exhibit of her work that just opened at the Chicago Cultural Center.

Jan Halvarson

13 comments:

Rachel Lucie Johns said...

how inspiring. I love what I see, off over to that blog to find out more. Thanks for sharing :)

Sarah Morgan said...

How wonderful! I think I will find myself similarly addicted to John Maloof's blog.

Thank you for introducing me to Vivan Maier's stunning work.

Anonymous said...

how beautiful! thanks for this post!

Tamar said...

I did read about Vivian in an earlier post of yours and I LOVE her work. Just amazing! I will definitely blog about her later on today, of course referring back to you! Thanks for sharing. She and sharing in general gives us such inspiration.

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christine {bijouandboheme} said...

These are so lovely- off to learn more and thank you so much for the introduction- very moving.

Kate said...

My dad sent me a link to the chicago public tv video a few months ago and I've been eagerly awaiting the opening of her show at the Chicago Cultural Center. I went last week and it is beautiful! The show also features some personal effects (hats, cameras, hand written notes). Such a great story and even without her story, each photo tells its own.

Megan said...

so interesting what those internet rabbit holes can bring...

Full Cup said...

I have never heard this story. Thank you SO much for sharing. I love little stories like this. I will definitely be looking her up. The pictures I've seen so far have all been beautiful!

xo,

Molly Jane

Ps. Stop by and say hello sometime! I'm hosting a Give Away very soon!:)

Soon, Then said...

Thank you for introducing me to this. It is so inspiring!!!!

Anonymous said...

oh yes, i totally agree that she is getting more attention nowadays, especially in the online community. I love her work too, though i wonder if there's a reason why she wanted to keep her photographs hidden from public view and if she'd be pleased if she knew her works are seen and adored by so many people now.. just a thought

andrea said...

so glad to have introduced a few of you to vivian maier's work and her amazing work!

kate, I was hoping to hear from someone who went to the show! I would loooove to go.

megan, indeed. :)

hearttypat, I've had that same thought so many times. as much as I love her work, I have to wonder.

kickpleat said...

these are amazing photographs!! Stunning!!

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