Self-Portrait, 1956


In her own hands

A nanny by trade, Vivian Maier’s street and travel photography was discovered by John Maloof in 2007 at a local auction house in Chicago. Always with a Roleiflex around her neck, she managed to amass more than 2,000 rolls of films, 3,000 prints and more than 100,000 negative which were shared with virtually no one in her lifetime. Her black and white photographs-mostly from the 50s and 60s-are indelible images of the architecture and street life of Chicago and New York. She rarely took more than one frame of each image and concentrated on children, women, the elderly, and indigent. The breadth of Maier’s work also reveals a series of striking self-portraits as well as print from her travels to Egypt, Bangkok, Italy, and the American Southwest, among dozens of other international cities.

“My fascination with her story has only grown, as has my involvement with her photographs. It is such an unusual story with no resolution. At first her images are extremely well seen, quality photographs of life on the street, in New York City and Chicago. But as one looks at the body of her work, she reveals her deeper interests. Then one tries to imagine who she was, what motivated her, her personality. It is not everyday that one becomes so involved and even obsessed with a particular photographer,” comments Howard Greenberg.

What little is known about Maier’s life is the result of John Maloof’s extensive research. He discovered her obituary on line in 2009 which was just the beginning of his investigative work. An American of French and Austro-Hungarian extraction, Maier split her time between Europe and the US, returning to NY in 1951. In 1956, she ultimately settled in Chicago where she worked as nanny for more than forty years. For a brief period in the 1970s she worked as a nanny to journalist, Phil Donahue’s children. Towards the end of her life, Maier was supported by the children she had cared for in the early 50s. Unbeknownst to them, one of Maier’s storage lockers (containing her massive group of negatives) was auctioned off due to delinquent payments.

After purchasing the first collection of Maier photographs in 2007, Maloof acquired more from another buyer at the same auction. He has since established the Maloof Collection to promote the work of Vivian Maier and to safeguard the archive for future generations. The archive consists of approximately 100,000 to 150,000 negatives; over 3,00 prints; hundreds of rolls of film; home movies; audio tape interviews, and other items representing roughly 90% of Maier’s work.


> Contents107 Photographs:
-79 photographs B&W
-22 color prints
-6 contact sheets
-9 films Super 8 on DVD (32’)
> Size of works-79 matted in 50x60cm
-22 matted in 40x50cm
-6 contact sheets mounted in of 40x50cm
> ConditionMatted. Unframed
> TransportFrom Madrid
> Rental ConditionsThe borrower will be in charge of:
-The transport from and to Madrid
-The insurance, nail to nail
-Travel and journey of the curator from Madrid
> AvailabilityFrom October 2020
> CuratorAnne Morin



  • Title: Vivian Maier - A Photographer Found
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Size: 10,25 x 12,5 inch
  • Language: English
  • Number of pages: 288 pages
  • Number of ilustrations: 300
  • Publisher: Harper Collins
  • ISBN: 9780062305534


  • MIS-Museu da Imagem e do Som - Sao Paulo, Brazil
    April 21 - June 14 2015

  • Sungkok Art Museum - Seoul, Korea
    July 2 - September 20 2015

  • Centro Cultural Las Condes - Santiago de Chile, Chile
    October 15 - December 13 2015

  • Parque Cultural de Valparaiso - Valparaiso, Chile
    December 17 - January 17 2016

  • Kulturhuset Stadsteatern - Stockholm, Sweden
    February 26- May 22 2016

  • Fundación Foto Colectania - Barcelona, Spain
    June 6 - September 10 2016

  • Palazzo dell´ Arengario - Monza, Italy
    October 8 - January 29 2017

  • Oeksnehallen - Copenhagen, Denmark
    June 28 - August 1 2017

  • Westlicht - Wien, Austria
    May 29 - August 12 2018

  • Willy Brandt Haus - Berlin, Germany
    September 25 2018 - January 7 2019

  • Musiz Foundation - Sofia, Bulgary
    April 23 - June 16 2019

  • Glenbow Museum - Calgary, Canada
    February 8 - May 24, 2020

  • Fabriken Basteville - Kivik, Sweden
    June 27 - November 1, 2020

  • The Finnish Museum of Photography - Helsinki, Finland
    January 15 - April 19, 2021

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