I was fortunate enough to catch the last day of the Vivian Maier exhibition at Les Douches la Galerie whilst in Paris last month and what a treat. I've read loads about Vivian in the press after her massive collection of images and negatives were discovered in 2007 and the pieces of her life and images have slowly been put together.
Vivian Maier was born in New York in 1926 to French and Austro-Hungarian parents. She moved between Europe and America in her early years, but moved back to New York in 1951 and began photographing day-to-day life on the streets of the city. She moved to Chicago in 1956 where she spent most of her life as a nanny and in her spare time took pictures of Chicago life, the buildings, the people and the society, documenting, 'some of the most interesting marvels and peculiarities of Urban America in the second half of the twentieth century'.
Vivian was very secretive about her images and kept them all in storage lock-ups without showing anyone. It was only in her later years when she stopped paying the rental that the lockers and their contents were auctioned off and the amazing contents discovered. Unfortunately Vivan passed away in 2009, but her images are being catalogued by John Maloof and exhibitions are being held across the world throughout 2014 so people can finally see her wonderful legacy.
“Well, I suppose nothing is meant to last forever. We have to make room for other people. It’s a wheel. You get on, you have to go to the end. And then somebody has the same opportunity to go to the end and so on.” Vivian Maier
You can read more about the wonderful life of Vivian Maier and see more of her images here.
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