B. United States, 1926 – 2009
B. United States 1926
Vivian Maier worked as a nanny and pursued photography in her spare time, focusing on the streets of central Chicago and New York as her subject. Maier would use her Rolleiflex twin lens camera to capture the lives of people – portraits of distinctive individuals, urban structures, children at play were her most consistent subjects. Her photographs were taken using a concealed lens to give her work its untempered character. Maier was prolific, frequently using a roll of film a day, though she remained secretive about her work, rarely showing it to anyone. Maier amassed a significant archive of street photography, while also turning the camera on herself to create self-portraits that play with the nature of photographic representation. Her work records the shifting climate of 1950s and 1960s America.
Maier stored her growing number of photographic negatives in storage containers as her reclusive behaviour escalated and she faced increasing financial difficulties. Whilst hospitalised, the contents of her storage containers were sold to clear debts. These were purchased by a Chicago-based auctioneer who put the containers into auction, a large number of which were purchased by John Maloof, founder of the Vivian Maier archive.
Maier’s story and her work have been the subject of numerous publications and exhibitions and a documentary, Finding Vivian Maier was made in 2013.
Maier died in Chicago in 2009.
Thank you for your enquiry. We will be in touch shortly.