Vivian Maier (1926–2009) moved to Chicago in 1956 and though she worked as a nanny to support herself, she spent her spare time taking photographs and making films. Her work was largely unknown during her lifetime, as the more than 10,000 negatives she made were kept hid:
Maier’s massive body of work would come to light when in 2007 her work was discovered at a local thrift auction house on Chicago’s Northwest Side. From there, it would eventually impact the world over and change the life of the man who championed her work and brought it to the public eye, John Maloof.
While Maloof and his team were cataloging her work, they maintained an image-heavy website dedicated to her life and work, and the Chicago Cultural Center mounted an exhibition “Finding Vivian Maier: Chicago Street Photographer” (7 January–3 April 2011), which garnered a lot of public interest in Chicago’s “nanny photographer”.
Authors Richard Cahan and Michael Williams released a new book of Vivian Maier’s photographs last month called Vivian Maier: Out of the Shadows. In addition to providing context for the artist’s life, the book publishes 275 of her photographs. To celebrate, After-Words New and Used Books in downtown Chicago is hosting a book signing party on Thursday, November 29 at 6:30.