Vivian Maier, Street Photographer and Nanny
Scratching around amongst people’s cast off junk at an auction house in 2007, John Maloof, a real estate agent in Chicago, discovered the boxes of unloved negatives repossessed from a storage unit. His initial stash of negatives from the life of Vivian Maier, that he paid $400 for, has lead onto collecting more of this private and eccentric woman’s life. John now has hundreds of thousands of negatives many still undeveloped on the rolls waiting to be discovered, digitized and shared.
Watch this video and be amazed by this woman’s work and talent:
But what is Vivian Maier’s story?
I found her name written with pencil on a photo-lab envelope. I decided to ‘Google’ her about a year after I purchased these only to find her obituary placed the day before my search. She passed only a couple of days before that inquiry on her.
I wanted to meet her in person well before I found her obituary but, the auction house had stated she was ill, so I didn’t want to bother her. So many questions would have been answered if I had.
… and now the questions can never be asked. What is the full story? What drove her and what were her life experiences that she had while taking all these thousands of images.
Sadly the best we will know will be the second and third had experiences of this enigmatic and talented artist. Sadly we can’t ever know the full story. She’s gone and no one discovered or took an interest to peek through her privacy. Maybe she would never have allow it anyway but what is the story behind all these images.
Now as John mentions above she is gone and that moment to ask and share the information is gone with her.
Is this happening to someone in your life
Do you have the interesting stories that you’ve never shared? Is there someone like Vivian in your life who will one day be gone and like her we’ll never know the story about what is left behind?
I look at these images in stunned amazement incredibly grateful that they were discovered before they were thrown in landfill somewhere but sad that we can never know the full story behind these images