February 17, 2013

Finding Vivian Maier


Over time it became clear the photos belonged to a Chicago nanny named Vivian Maier who had photographed prolifically for nearly 40 years, but who never shared her work during her lifetime.

(be sure to view the movie trailer)

(via Colossal)


  1. SC on February 17th, 2013 at 11:40 am

    I recently used a Vivian Maier photo (with permission and all) on the HB jacket of the US edition of Martha Long’s Ma, He Sold Me For A Few Cigarettes. (It’s volume one of Long’s, um, five, six, or seven volume autobiography. He Sold Me covers Long’s life in Dublin in the 50s, roughly from age six to nine. I get a little confused by the number/order of the books in Long’s autobiographical series because the UK/US publication dates/title differ.)


    Anyway, I found VM and Long a sympathetic pairing.

  2. Sheila Ryan on February 17th, 2013 at 8:25 pm

    Well, that is downright cool, SC.

  3. SC on February 17th, 2013 at 9:45 pm

    IIRC, the photo on the Martha Long book was taken in France, presumably in the last 40s or early 50s. I like her street photos but I think her self-portraits are her most interesting work.

    The Martha Long books are worth a glance. They are Frank McCourt-like but the early volumes are sadder and, IME, perhaps a little more realistic. People do bad shit to each other–in Dublin, without much money or education. Martha grows up. (Martha’s on the twitters if you are curious.)

  4. SC on February 17th, 2013 at 9:46 pm

    ^late 40s

  5. Sheila Ryan on February 17th, 2013 at 10:00 pm

    They were the last 40s as well, so it’s okay.

  6. Michael Grant Smith on February 18th, 2013 at 7:32 am

    Maier’s self-portraits seem as transparent and candid as her photographs of presumed strangers.

  7. Erica Braverman on February 18th, 2013 at 9:15 am

    I contributed to the kickstarter for this project and am excited to see this movie come to fruition. The Chicago Cultural Center had a small Vivian Maier exhibit when I was in Chicago last, and my friend Connie ooohed and aaaed over her cameras and the photographs displayed. They had her Leica and Rolleiflex on display. You could see the worn leather in the former from where her hands were holding the camera. I love her as a street photographer, but I am drawn to her self-portraits the most.