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.

Terror threats spark shocking WORLD WIDE TRAVEL ALERTS Watch

Image of In either case, travelers can expect beefed-up security at airports in the coming weeks - and longer lines.


It is the start of the holiday season in the United States - and with the world still thoroughly rattled after the attacks in Paris this past November 13, travel alerts are in high effect. Even worse, those who decide to stay home through Thanksgiving and ... continue reading

Ordinariate of the Chair of St Peter, Catholics nurtured in the Anglican tradition, receives its First Bishop Watch

Image of Fr Randy Sly, a Catholic priest of the Ordinariate of the Chair of St Peter.

By Deacon Keith Fournier

The Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter is equivalent to a diocese for Roman Catholics who were nurtured in the Anglican tradition. The Ordinariate was created by the Vatican on Jan. 1, 2012.On November 24, 2015. Pope Francis announced the appointment of ... continue reading

EVIL AGAINST EVIL: Mafia boss says his group will protect New York City against Islamist State Watch

Image of Now pursuing a screenwriting career, Giovanni Gambino says that following the terror attacks in Paris on November 13, protection is more important than ever.


It is highly ironic, an example of the kettle calling the pot black as it were . Son of New York mob boss Giovanni Gambino is warning the Islamic State that if they decide to take New York City on, they will have the mafia to contend with.  LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading

Suicide bomber and K-9 units in New York subway station - but it's not what you think (WARNING: GRAPHIC IMAGES) Watch

Image of NYC emergency responders held a 3-hour drill at the Bowery subway station in Manhattan days before the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade.


Following the Paris terror attacks, New York City teamed up with the Department of Homeland Security on Sunday to stage a three-hour active-shooter and suicide bomber drill. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Only days before the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade, emergency ... continue reading

Will national World War II shame over Japanese internment camps return with Muslim refugees? PHOTOS... Watch

Image of The internment of U.S. citizens of Japanese descent following the bombing of Pearl Harbor during World War II remains a very dark page in our national history.


Longtime mayor of Roanoke, Virginia, Mayor David Bowers has since apologized for his comments that compared Syrian refugee assistance and Japanese internment camps. While controversial, his comments have hit a raw, national nerve . and many people are wondering ... continue reading

What Time is it? The Feast of Christ the King and our Approach to Marking Time Watch

Image of Christ the King: This final Sunday of the church Year, the Feast of Christ the King, is the day when we are invited to commemorate His sovereignty over all men, women and children. Jesus Christ has come. Jesus Christ is coming. Jesus Christ will come again. Jesus Christ is Lord of All.

By Deacon Keith Fournier

Our choice to actually live the Christian liturgical year, in a compelling, evangelistic and inviting way, can become a profoundly important form of missionary activity in an age deluded by the barrenness of secularism. A robust, evangelically alive and ... continue reading

Remembering Gettysburg: America Needs to be Moral to be Free Watch

Image of The Lincoln memorial in Washington, DC

By Mat Staver & Keith Fournier

Our age has been seduced by a counterfeit notion of liberty as the right to do whatever we want, rather than the right to choose to do what is right. This is not what the founding fathers thought. The birth certificate of this nation was called a Declaration of ... continue reading

NEW TERROR THREAT: ISIS releases video saying they will destroy the White House - next Watch

Image of Using his index finger to point to the sky, referring to Allah, the man says,


With the attacks on Paris still foremost in international consciousness, the Islamic State has released a new, threatening video - saying that the United States is next. "We started with [Paris] and we shall finish with the false White House... We shall render ... continue reading

HURRY NOW! Don't miss the most popular YouTube videos this week

Image of


Have you seen the Catholic Online YouTube channel yet? Every day thousands of people stop by our channel for a wonderfully peaceful and prayerful experience. Don't forget to subscribe today, so you don't miss out on over 100 beautiful Catholic videos, with new ones ... continue reading

ISIS threatens New York in chilling new video - Is Black Friday the day? Watch

Image of New York's Times Square is one of the busiest locations in the country.


The Islamic State may have signaled its intention to attack New York City in a new video that shows suicide bombers preparing their bombs and dressing for attack. Speculation is mounting that the United States will be the next target for ISIS. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic ... 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

the FEED
by Catholic Online

  • You won't believe what happened to these misguided teens who joined ISIS
  • Daily Readings for Wednesday, November 25, 2015
  • Clone livestock, racehorses, the family pet - China opens world's ...
  • Advent Wreath Prayer HD
  • St. John The Apostle HD
  • St. Catherine of Alexandria: Saint of the Day for Wednesday, November ...
  • 'We cannot succumb to fear': U.S. joins France in fight against ISIS

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Daniel 2:31-45
31 'You have had a vision, Your Majesty; this is what you saw: a statue, ... Read More

Psalm, Daniel 3:57, 58, 59, 60, 61
57 Bless the Lord, all the Lord's creation: praise and glorify him for ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 21:5-11
5 When some were talking about the Temple, remarking how it was adorned ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for November 24th, 2015 Image

St. Andrew Dung Lac
November 24: Through the missionary efforts of various ... Read More