i’m jealous of vivian maier


What an amazing glimpse at a slice of American life during the 1950s and 60s. And what an even more amazing story about this photographer, the undiscovered Vivian Maier. John Maloof, also a photographer, ended up buying a bunch of her negatives {30 – 40,000 to be precise} at a furniture and antique auction in Chicago. The auction house acquired her belongings from her storage locker that was sold off due to delinquent payments. Um, can you say gold mine? And he still has 600 rolls to develop. Who knows what else he’ll find!

Anyway, the story doesn’t end there. About a year after he bought the negatives, as he got more and more involved with Vivian’s photos, he did what any modern day person would do… he googled her. Her obituary had been posted one day before he hit ‘search’. Seriously. She died peacefully at the age of 83. I’m not sure what I love more, her photography or this story. I don’t know about you, but I can’t help wondering how many more ‘Vivian Maiers’ are out there, just waiting to be discovered.

{John Maloof has set up a blog to show her work, and is trying to put an exhibition together in Chicago, the place where Vivian lived for a large part of her life.}

comments (8)

  1. jess /// 12.18.2009 /// 10:20am

    What an amazing story! She captured captivating images. I can’t wait to see what else develops from her rolls of film.

  2. heather /// 12.18.2009 /// 12:49pm

    i just visited the blog John set up. her photographs are amazing!!! thanks for introducing her pictures to me. 🙂

  3. The Jealous Curator /// 12.18.2009 /// 12:59pm

    Yeah, isn’t the blog great?
    Vivian died just this past April. I wonder how she’d feel to know that all of this is happening with the thousands of negatives she had in storage?! I just got an email from John and he said that he’s currently working with the Chicago Cultural Center which will be doing an exhibition next year. He’s also putting together a book of Vivian’s work. Crazy. He literally found a photographic gold mine.

  4. Lorien /// 12.18.2009 /// 1:57pm

    Thanks for sharing about Vivian Maier! I love her photos too.

  5. nathalie /// 12.19.2009 /// 6:59am

    what a great story! and such beautiful photos! she had an amazing eye to catch everyday details. women had so much style back then!

  6. The Jealous Curator /// 12.19.2009 /// 8:09am

    I totally agree. It’s the everyday details that make these so special. They’re so candid/journalistic. And yes, hats and furs just to go shopping… very fancy!

  7. amber /// 12.19.2009 /// 8:31am

    What a beautiful look into the everyday going ons of this era. What an eye she had…love these.
    thanks for sharing.

  8. QUICK BITES 3 | TIME VAULT /// 06.05.2013 /// 11:37pm

    […] wrote about Vivian and John way back in 2009. Their story is about an undiscovered, photographic gold mine. They never knew each other, but now […]

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