The mystery continues to unravel around Vivian Maier, a reclusive nanny whose recently-discovered photographs from the 1950s and 1960s have caused a sensation well after her death.
The mystery continues to unravel around Vivian Maier, a reclusive nanny whose recently-discovered photographs from have caused a sensation well after her death.
A new book, "Vivian Maier: Out of the Shadows" is being dubbed the first book to tell photographer's life story in pictures and words.
Maier worked as a nanny in Chicago for a period of about 40 years, and died in 2009 at the age of 83. In her spare time, she strolled the streets of the city, taking pictures that she kept to herself.
"She was caring for kids in the morning, and then she would take the train downtown and then she was on expedition. This was her world, this was her drama, she loved to see people and relate to people," Cahan said.
Her pictures were discovered by a real estate agent John Maloof, who has taken years developing the negatives, but the pictures in the upcoming book are based on photos purchased by art collector Jeffrey Goldstein.
"Even though we have pictures of her, self portraits, we have her handwriting, we have various pieces of ephemera, obviously we have her prints and negatives, it's still hard for us to imagive she actually existed," Goldstein said.
The authors studied census records, ship manifests and interviewed people who knew Maier in order to to compile the story of her life.
"It's a correlation, a narrative starting with her time in France to New York to Chicago. It spans from the '40s to the early '70s," Cahan says.
The authors also curated a new Vivian Maier exhibit at Chicago's Thomas Masters Gallery that includes film screenings and special presentations.
"After looking at these pictures, I can tell this was a women with an incredibly big heart. I'm looking around these walls now and I see portraits of people showing them at their most honest and truthful," Williams says.