The Secret Life of Vivian Maier


When Chicago nanny Vivian Maier died in 2009, she left behind an archive of over 100,000 negatives, prints, and home-made films discovered only shortly before her death.

Self Portrait, 1959 via

An American of French and Austro-Hungarian extraction, Maier picked up photography in 1949 and kept taking snapshots well into the 1990s.

Untitled, June, 1953 via

Depicting the streets of Chicago in her unique, impromptu style, Maier recorded some of the most interesting phenomena and bizarreness of urban America in the second half of the twentieth century. Interesting bits of Americana, the demolition of historic landmarks, the unseen lives of ethnic groups and the destitute, as well as some of Chicago’s most cherished sites were all meticulously catalogued by Vivian Maier.

1957, Chicago, IL via

Maier’s massive body of work came to light in 2007 when her work was discovered at a local thrift auction house on Chicago’s Northwest Side.

Untitled, April 20, 1956 via

The first exhibition of Maier’s work in the UK is showcasing 48 framed prints in both black and white and colour, together with a selection of Maier’s silent films.

Untitled, Undated via

Vivian Maier: A Life Uncovered, at the German Gymnasium, Pancras Road, NW1 2TB, forms part of the London Street Photography Festival launched this summer. It is open until the 24th July 2011.

For further info, visit

More Vivian Maeir articles right here on!

written by webo29 on 2011-07-14 in #news #ny #secret #chicago #lomography #london #b-w #exhibition #vivian-maier #july #news


  1. thewretched
    thewretched ·

    CRAP! i just submitted an article on her yesterday! Amazing story though, that all those films had been locked away - some for over 50 years, without anyone ever seeing them...

  2. magali
    magali ·

    I remember readin about her a couple of years ago... amazing!

  3. britterzb
    britterzb ·

    Wow truly amazing!

  4. azizaazul
    azizaazul ·

    A lot of her rolls were left undeveloped due to lack of funds. I understand how she feels. I have to wait till pay day to get my rolls developed. Patience is a virtue.

    If you have the opportunity to see this little gallery, then I would highly recommend it. I visited it last Saturday and it was very inspiring.

  5. oxgn
    oxgn ·

    A documentary about her life and works will be showing next year :D You guys can check for more info here:…

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