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Vivian Maier :: Nanny and Brilliant Photographer.

Have you heard about Vivian Maier?

My darling friend, Meredith sent me a link last week about this intriguing lady who was from France and worked as a nanny in Chicago in the 50s until her retirement in the 90s.

And she loved taking pictures. And the art of photography.

A fellow named John Maloof who worked in real estate, came across a box of negatives at an furniture and antique auction.

But knew there was something special about these negatives. These images.

And he started to show them to other people who knew there was something interesting about them as well.

And beautiful.

Somehow he found the name of the person who took all of these photos–Vivian Maier–on a slip of paper tucked in between all of the negatives.

He did an online search only to find her obituary that ran a few days earlier.

But she lives through these photos.

That  short obituary that doesn’t sum up all of the 100,000 images she left behind.

And many, oh so many of them of children. Perhaps the children she took care of. Which can’t help but make you smile.

Maloof talked to some of her former wards and one described her as Mary Poppins.

How glorious is that? I think you can see that Mary Poppins kind of love through these pictures, yes?

John is helping bring Vivian’s world to others through a documentary he’s working on right now and a show at Chicago Cultural Center.

This is my favorite one.  I photos of babies looking over the shoulder of their mama.

For more images, check out John Maloof’s blog with updated pictures almost every day.  Gorgeous.

You never know where genius lies.

PS: My apologies for the smaller and inconsistent imagery size–but I didn’t want to distort the photography.

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14 Responses

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  1. Makeminemid-century says

    They are gorgeous! Breathtaking! Each one shouts a love and understanding of children.

    Just precious!

  2. Suzi says

    Incredible article Dottie – it brought tears to my eyes. Photography is very important to me too and people like Vivian inspire me to take my camera out more.

    • Dottie says

      Yay! And hopefully you will take your camera out a lot more. It’s all about the inspiration. And you rock, lady!

  3. Suzi says

    This one is such a hoot!
    http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_YUrw6ooCZj4/SvSmbVHj4xI/AAAAAAAAAvc/YbWovLLYg0A/s1600-h/CHI-790.jpg

    I’m so hooked!

  4. Amber Liddle says

    Those are amazing! How random to find a box of negatives and find such great photos!

  5. jenny says

    gosh those photos are just incredible!!!!!

    thanks for sharing miss alix!!!!!!

  6. danielle thompson says

    these are breathtaking.. what a gift! thanks for sharing!

  7. thursday says

    These photos are simply stunning. What a magical find! I’ve seen these photos circulating around the Internet and I’m completely smitten. <3

  8. 3 ring circus • heather says

    wow these made my heart happy and bring tears to my eyes! i love how images can bring so much emotion to a person!! these are really special photographs!!!

  9. BethR says

    AMAZING!

    i had forgotten that even when i was a child, they had that bar on the swings that you slid down in front of you. the slide strikes terror in my (motherly) heart!

  10. Jenny (VintageSugarcube) says

    Dottie! LOVE this post… LOVE the pics and LOVE that she is being honored.

  11. jenny says

    i’m such a jerky! THANK YOU DOTTIE For sharing these photos, ack!!!!

    • Dottie says

      Oh are not a jerky at all–you are a love and I was actually quite chuffed cuz I love Alix! And really, we share a modernkiddo brain, so it’s all the same!

Continuing the Discussion

  1. Tweets that mention Vivian Maier :: Nanny and Brilliant Photographer. – Modern Kiddo -- Topsy.com linked to this post on January 11, 2011

    [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by ThePanicRoom, Josephina Mydreama. Josephina Mydreama said: Vivian Maier :: Nanny and Brilliant Photographer.: Have you heard about Vivian Maier? My… http://goo.gl/fb/wv4Qb [...]



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