Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Treasure trove

Vivian Maer was an elusive woman who lived from the 1950s to 1990s. Nannying for about forty years the various children she worked with described her as 'a socialist and a feminist who learned english by going to movies and wore mens hats, coats and shoes.' It was also noted that any time off she had was spent walking the streets and take photos on her Rolleiflex camera. She also sometimes recorded conversations of random passers by.

Her work was discovered in 2007 when purchased by a man named John Maloof at an auction in Chicago. Maer held her negatives and undeveloped film in storage but in later life was unable to afford this. Reportedly, she became homeless. Since purchasing the majority of her works Maloof has slowly been unearthing snippets about her life. Her body of work include over 100,000 negatives, some of which are still undeveloped.  The collection of photos is like a viewing glass to a world that is now long long gone.

Words can't describe how amazing it must feel discovering such a treasure as well as having the honor of being the first to see her photographs. Facts are still being unearthed about the modest photographer who didn't like showing her photos to anyone. You can see her photos and  read more about her here.

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