Vivian Maier. The discovery of a photographer
Vivian Maier worked all her life as a children’s nanny. In her spare time she would go into the city armed with her camera. Between 1950 and 1990 she took thousands of street photographs, mostly in black and white, later also in colour. The results of these 'expeditions' are diverse, but portraits of children, vagrants and the black community in Chicago and New York in the 1950s and 1960s predominate.
It was only after her death at the age of 83, that her photographic work was discovered by the realtor John Maloof. He was looking for historic photos of a neighbourhood in Chicago and came across a lot of undeveloped films and negatives at an auction. Only when he was developing them did he realise the great talent he was dealing with.
The discovery of Maier’s work came as a bombshell. She is compared to talents like Lisette Model, Garry Winogrand and Diane Arbus.
For the ‘Vivian Maier, The Discovery of a Photographer’ exhibition a selection was made from the large archive of about 150,000 negatives, 3,000 prints and 2,000 rolls of film. Some 120 photos, mostly in black and white, are exhibited in the refectory of St. Peter’s Abbey, along with several 8mm movies.