Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

4/28/2013 (2 years ago)

Catholic Online (

Vivien Maier took thousands of photos that were discovered just before she died

Vivien Maier worked as a children's governess in Chicago in the 1950s. She would take her young charges for walks through the worst parts of the city, snapping pictures. She never showed anyone her photos, until real estate agent John Maloof bought over 100,000 of her negatives at auction for $380 in 2007. Once developed, the photos of Maier were beautiful and icy in their perfection. Before Maloof could track her down to ask her question, Maier died at the age of 83 following a fall on an icy sidewalk in 2009.

Vivian Maier, pictured here in a self-portrait, took thousands of photos but didn't show any of them in her lifetime.

Vivian Maier, pictured here in a self-portrait, took thousands of photos but didn't show any of them in her lifetime.


By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (

4/28/2013 (2 years ago)

Published in U.S.

Keywords: Vivian Maier, photography, street photography, secret, art

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic online) - Many in the art world have declared Maier the world's "greatest street photographer" and one of America's greatest photographers, but much remains behind closely locked doors following her death. Her employers remember her as a very secret person, who developed her negatives in an attic whose door was kept firmly closed at all times.

Maier's photographs recall those of Diane Arbus in their unadorned simplicity and harrowing subject matter. While very guarded and silent, Maier's photos fearlessly looked at the poor, aged and deformed in bleak surroundings. Many of her photographs are also happy and light-hearted as well, such as shots of families out enjoying sunny days on the street or beach. The composition and texture are as accomplished as any professional photographer of today and yesteryear. Maier kept her work an intensely private affair.
Maloof began developing his new collection of 100,000 negatives in total, which had previously been abandoned in a storage locker in Chicago before they ended up at the auction house. It became clear these were no ordinary street snaps. After a frantic search to find the incandescent talent behind these unique pictures, Maloof sadly learned of Maier's death in an obituary notice in the Chicago Tribune.

Maier's photos have since received international mainstream media attention alongside exhibitions all over the world including London, New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Hamburg and Oslo.

Maloof has since made a documentary film about the incredible discovery of a lost talent entitled "Finding Vivian Maier."

The film is scheduled for release some time in 2013. Watch the trailer below and wait for the hairs on the back of your neck to stand up.

"I do have a few extra bits of information for you such as that Vivian was born in New York and raised somewhere in France (exact location unknown)," Maloof says.
"Interestingly, records show a young Vivian Maier and her mother lived with Jeanne J. Bertrand for some time, a French pioneer of photography who knew the founder of the Whitney Museum of American Art. It's highly possible that Vivian developed her secret talent thanks to Jeanne Bertrand."

Maier then moved to New York at 25-years-old and worked in a sweat shop for a while until she would become a nanny for the next 40 years on and off. 

"When she had days off, she would walk the streets of Chicago or New York, most often using her Rollieflex camera, photographing everyone and everything from the well-dressed shoppers to homeless people and even her own reflection," Maloof said.

Maier's life is highly inspirational, as Maloof explains it, "In a modern climate of celebrity culture, it's so rare to hear about someone that wasn't doing it for money or fame. For Vivian it was just about her curiosity, her love for her city and the thrill of taking a picture."


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'

Copywriter 2015 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for October 2015
That human trafficking, the modern form of slavery, may be eradicated.
Evangelization: That with a missionary spirit the Christian communities of Asia may announce the Gospel to those who are still awaiting it.


More U.S.

What it was like to fly Pope Francis around America: American Airlines crew speaks out Watch

Image of The Pope blessed the crew, their families, and the plane during his tour.


Pope Francis' American Airlines flight crew has opened up about the spiritual experience, claiming the papal meeting was "like seeing God." LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Pilot George Griffin, his co-pilots and 15 cabin crew members were picked from a pool of ... continue reading

New ISIS video features a 'cub of the caliphate' directly threaten US President Barack Obama Watch

Image of A young ISIS member delivers a threat to US President Barack Obama (YouTube).


A young ISIS jihadi was featured in an ISIS video dressed in army fatigues and holding a rocket launcher as he  delivered a threat to US President Barack Obama. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - A young boy who looks to be no more than 10-years-old was recorded ... continue reading

Did Clinton hide the discovery of the Khobar Towers bombers? Watch

Image of Former US President Bill Clinton (Brothersoft)


In order to reestablish diplomatic ties with Tehran, former U.S. President Bill Clinton hid the discovery of Iran's involvement of the Khobar Towers bombing which killed 19 U.S. servicemen in 1996. The allegations are not new, but in a recent report, heavy evidence ... continue reading

Terrorists can easily enter the U.S. through Texas/Mexico border Watch

Image of


Director of the Texas Department of Public Safety, Steve McCraw, warned the U.S. was vulnerable in terms of infiltration through the country's southern border. McCraw reported some people coming from countries flagged to have "terrorism presence."  LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading

STUDY: Arabic, Urdu the fastest growing secondary languages in the United States Watch

Image of The most recent census study shows that the fastest-growing foreign languages are languages spoken by immigrants from Muslim-majority countries.


The Census Bureau's 2014 American Community Survey reports that between 2010 and 2014, there was a 29 percent increase in Arabic spoken in the United States. There is also a 23 percent increase in Urdu, and a nine percent jump in Persian, the language spoken in ... continue reading

California mother punched in the face by police files lawsuit Watch

Image of The police officer allegedly pulled over Cindy Hahn moments later on an alleged seat belt violation and arrested Hahn as her children watched.


The one sure thing about cell phone technology is that authority figures will not be able to slip easily from the law. A 40-year-old mother is suing the city of Carlsbad, California after being physically assaulted by police officers in July of 2013. It was all ... continue reading

Cargo ship missing after sailing into Hurricane Joaquin Watch

Image of Katie and Keith Griffin (Facebook).


El Faro, a cargo ship, was caught in Hurricane Joaquin, leaving several American crew members missing. Worried friends and family of the missing staff members continue to hope for survivors. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The US Coast Guard announced that they ... continue reading

Oregon shooting hero still in recovery: Donations for his medical expenses surpass $700,000 Watch

Image of Chris Mintz.


Chris Mintz left a happy birthday message for his nonverbal autistic son on Thursday before going to his classes at the Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon. Later, he reportedly set off fire alarms as a gunman opened fire. Mintz charged the shooter, was ... continue reading

Two farmers in Michigan unearth woolly mammoth remains Watch

Image of Because of the tight harvest schedule, the farmers gave researchers a single day to unearth the find. Excavators worked intently last week until sundown.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Two farmers in Michigan made a momentous find while they dug a drainage ditch. The remains of a woolly mammoth, enormous tusks intact, was unearthed. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - James Bristle of Lima Township was digging in a soybean field early last week ... continue reading

President Obama shares how Pope Francis's visit to the U.S. makes him want to be better Watch

Image of President Obama with Pope Francis during the pontiffs visit to the U.S.


It has been a week since Pope Francis' historical visit to the U.S. However, his presence and inspiration continues to linger as President Obama revealed he wants to become better after his meeting with the Pope. WASHINGTON D.C. (Catholic Online) - The pope is back in ... continue reading

All U.S. News


Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Malachi 3:13-20
13 'You have said harsh things about me, says Yahweh. ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 1:1-2, 3, 4, 6
1 How blessed is anyone who rejects the advice of the ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 11:5-13
5 He also said to them, 'Suppose one of you has a ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for October 8th, 2015 Image

St. Pelagia
October 8: Pelagia, more often called Margaret, on account of the ... Read More