Jul 20, 2015

Man Unknowingly Discovers One of The Most Important Street Photographers of the Mid 20th Century (55 Pics)

By on Monday, July 20, 2015

In 2007, historical hobbyist John Maloof bought a box full of 10,000 never developed negatives at a local auction for $380. A little spendy considering he had no idea what the photos would be. What he discovered was perhaps the most important street photographer of the twentieth century that nobody had ever heard of.
Soon Maloof began developing the negatives and it was quickly apparent that these were no ordinary street snapshots, these photos of the 50’s-60’s stared deep into the soul of the time and preserved the everyday experience of the subjects in the work. She ventured outside the comfortable homes and picturesque residential neighborhoods of her employers to document all segments of life in and around the big city. But who was this photographer?
Her name was Vivian Maier, a nanny from New York city who apparently kept everything to herself. She would roam the streets and shoot beautiful photos of neighborhoods and people that are honest, gritty and quite breathtaking. The odd thing is; nobody had ever seen her work and she was a complete unknown until the time of her death.

Once Maloof developed the negatives, he knew he had to find the photographer, get the back story and show her the images that he recently uncovered. He did find the information he was looking for but it came as an obituary. Apparently Vivian died in 2009 after slipping on some ice and hitting her head. She was 83 years old.
Since then, Maloof has worked hard to publicize the find and get Vivian the attention she so deserved. Soon the pictures gained international media attention with exhibitions in London, New York, Los Angeles, Oslo and Hamburg.
Maloof has also made ​​a documentary about Vivian and her work  — you can check out the trailer below.


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