john maloof

Finding Vivian Maier

21 May 2011

One of the projects we’ve backed a couple of months ago on Kickstarter and we’re really eager to see it finished is the documentary about Vivian Maier.

Since the creation of the VM blog, John Maloof’s project around the mysterious figure hasn’t stopped getting bigger & bigger grabbing the mass media attention. There’s a good long list of upcoming exhibitions of her works across the globe (Germany, the U.S. here in London too..).

1953, New York, NY

Some people are already considering her street photography as one of the most important of the 20th century in the U.S. (a bit premature but…), and the good thing is that while John keeps developing all those left negatives & unveiling the history of the Nanny while finishing his documentary we can keep track of all the progress on his shiny new page.

John Maloof as owner of the collection has certainly found a goldmine, ┬álet’s see how big the Maier effect gets.

Untitled, Self Portait

Vivian Maier’s photos were seemingly destined for obscurity, lost among the clutter of the countless objects she’d collected throughout her life. Instead these images have shook the world of street photography and irrevocably changed the life of the man who brought them to the public eye.

This film brings to life the interesting turns and travails of the improbable saga of John Maloof’s discovery of Vivian Maier, unraveling this mysterious tale through her documentary films, photographs, odd collections and personal accounts from the people that knew Vivian..

Untitled, France
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Vivian Maier

5 December 2010

Not knowing who Vivian Maier is may be forgiven by your soul, although with all the media attention John Maloof’s blog about her grabbed a year ago we expect you to have seen some of this babysiter’s photographs…

Vivian Maier (deceased lastyear) is one of those hidden jewels that we all rediscovered last year when John Maloof decided to start publishing her photographs on a blog after acquiring Vivian’s negatives while at a furniture and antique auction.


An anonymous street photographer from the 1950s – 1990s, Vivian resided most of her life in Chicago. Her discovered work includes about 100,000 mostly medium format negatives and a ton of undeveloped rolls of film.

Some of her photos have pictures of children and often times it was near a beach. She was a nanny for a family on the North Side whose children these most likely were. One of her obituary’s state she lived in Oak Park, a close Chicago suburb but, she lived in the Rogers Park neighborhood, in Chicago.

Central Camera (110 yr old camera shop in Chicago) has encountered Vivian from time to time when she would purchase film while out on the Chicago streets. From what they knew of her, they say she was a very “keep your distance from me” type of person but was also outspoken. She loved foreign films and didn’t care much for American films.

Nothing better to do in your on-line world right now? Then go & visit her dedicated blog to learn more about this feminist, babysiter & hidden hunter who just like Salinger proves the power of silent & secret artists.

Update: Seems like Vivian Maier is growing very popular and John Maloof himself together with Anthony Rydzon have decided that Vivian merits a film.┬áThe film is currently in the pre-production stage and they’ve joined forces with an award-winning Danish filmmaker, Lars Oxfeldt Mortensen for the piece.

And as we think it’s got the enough magic, we’ve decided it to include it as part of our supported projects. Good luck John, we can’t wait to see the result!

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