The black and white photographs in this post are from my visit to the Vivian Maier exhibit at Howard Greenberg Gallery on 57th Street. Maier’s story is pretty incredible: She spent most of her life working as a nanny, and in her off hours she would walk around Chicago taking photographs that she never showed anyone. Over the course of her life, she amassed close to 100,000 negatives.
In 2007, John Maloof, an eBay entrepreneur and real estate agent, first acquired a boxful of Maier’s negatives for $400. The negatives had been in a commercial storage locker whose contents were seized for nonpayment. Maloof bought them because they contained scenes of Chicago and he was working on a book about Portage Park. For a more detailed version of the story, check out this story on Lens, NYT.com’s photo blog.
The show is wonderful, really inspiring to anyone who enjoys taking pictures or looking at them. The collection of prints that Maloof has put together is super-impressive–what he’s done is terrific. If you’re in New York, you need to drop what you’re doing and get yourself to midtown ASAP.