Street Photographer’s Work Discovered A Few Days After Her Death

Street Photographer’s Work Discovered A Few Days After Her Death

Vivian Maier's street photography was recently "discovered" just a few days after she died at the age of 83. The Chicago nanny took over 100,000 photographs and many say she may rank among the top street photographers of the 20th century.


Read The Vivian Maier Update post here.

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65 Comments

This story is truly amazing, I can't believe that her talent has been undiscovered all this time. It's exciting that there are still 90,000+ of her photos that still haven't been seen by anyone.

i know it's a daunting task, but an important one. vivian is an amazing artist and her work should have a national exhibition.

good luck!

Cris Magsino's picture

wow! this one got me teary-eyed. i hope she finally gets the recognition that she truly deserve.

speechless...

This story is truly amazing, this story tell us what ever you do in life .. is for the passion of what ever ,, she really capture amazing moments.

rest in peace. Vivian Maier’s

He doesn't know what do do with her stuff?

Smithsonian!

I hope there will be a book sometime in the future. It goes to show that someone as unassuming as Vivian Maier can produce such an incredible body of work. I'm pretty sure there will be a permanent place for her work in an institution of some kind. Kudos to John for starting up the work to scan and preserve all those images.

what a goldmine! would love to see her work some day

Love it. Vivian used a real camera and real film and looked at real life. She was moved by something deep inside her. Bless her heart, and may she rest in peace. And may her work end up in the right place / right hands to be cared for.

I love the perspective provided by waist level shooting. The Rollei is great for that

As someone who values both inspired photography and poetry, it is obvious to me that Vivian Maier was a poet of photography. The sheer beauty, inspired focus and manner of wrapping her subject in warmth and light makes one stop, take notice, pause, then realize that we are looking at mastery beyond the ability of words to accurately describe.

Dave Burns PBS KOCE get on it!!!
Ya better hurry before someone else does!!!
And this Great Talent is looking down from Heaven and she is enjoying every moment of admiration of her life work!!!
She is to be admired and honored!!!
May she Rest In Peace now!!!
She has a castle in the sky and a crown of diamonds, rubies, and pearls!!!
:).

I would like to be able to follow this man's work to get these photographs out to the public. Does he have a web site or any way to follow him? I've love for a showing of those images to come to Austin (or anywhere in Texas). I'd drive 6 hours to go see those for sure!

It made me stop and wonder how many other of these gems are out there not found? Thank you Fstoppers for your site.

I found this piece on Ms. Maier to be awe-inspiring. As a professional photojournalist for the last 37 years and a passionate lover of photography since I got my first point & shoot camera in 1963, this discovery is motivating me go go back through my own archives from the early 70's and comb my negatives for images that aren't just of famous people. When you've photographed every U.S. President since Jimmy Carter to President Obama (never photographed Reagan), you forget the value of just photographing people being people. I stopped using film after 2000 and I've been digital since but those times when I venture to my file cabinets to rediscover images on negatives taken over my first 27 years as a professional, it's the sweetest journey a photographer can take.

Very nice, but the pictures are still subject to copyright. Even if the photographer is dead, the phiotographer's family still holds the rights.

Spy Black's picture

The photographers family had no idea of what she did, apparently she distanced herself from said family. I think the fellow working on this stuff has more genuine interest in her work than any "family" that might crawl out of the woodwork. While he certainly hopes to gain financial rewards out of this, I can just imagine "family" involvement of such.

To bad she was discovered after her death and could not enjoy her plus her images. I loved the different designs she created in her adventures.

To witness the beauty and essence of humanity in Vivian's photos is a humbling experience.

Great pictures, but what I want to know is why did the family give him her belongings? Don't you think they would want them to remember her by? Isn't the family interested in this "gold mine"? Makes you think she wasn't very close to them...how sad.

Spy Black's picture

She didn't have a family. She was a loner. Well, there may be relatives, but apparently she distanced herself from them for whatever reason.

Great Photos. With so many Photos, maybe the best way to see them is as a slide show, instead of 80 or so printed pieces. Also, maybe a series of Disks of her work, with as many as would fit on each. It seems to me that Vivian was a quiet person, with tons of talent, God Bless Her. I don't normally say such things, but it seems appropriate for her. She saw the ordinary and made it extraordinary.

Jonathan, Hire some interns from the Chicago area. What an incredible lineage to be a part of.

I hope this amazing showing comes to Indianapolis! Often artists are not the best people to market their own work, and many blessing on the soul who took this on as his life's work.

The biggest question in my mind is, how can John Maloff use these in a book if he doesn't own the copyright? Why aren't more people asking this question? Just because you can't find the heirs after a cursory search, doesn't mean the photos are yours to profit from. His original purpose in bidding on these are suspect for this reason. How was he going to get a copyright on photos he got from an auction?

Spy Black's picture

He's the rightful owner now.

I find it irony that the same streets that she obviously loved to photograph, in the end, inadvertently caused her demise...

Thank You John for doing all of this work. She deserves to be recognized.

I would Love to see this in portland Oregon

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