cover image Vivian Maier

Vivian Maier

Anne Morin, Christa Blümlinger, and Ann Marks. Thames & Hudson, $65 (256p) ISBN 978-0-500-02570-3

In this incisive survey, Morin, director of a cultural management company; cinematography professor Blümlinger; and author Marks (Vivian Maier Developed: The Untold Story of the Photographer Nanny) spotlight the work of self-taught photographer Vivian Maier (1926–2009). Born in New York City, Maier bounced between France and the United States growing up and moved to Chicago in her 30s, where she worked as a nanny and engaged in photography as a hobby. She is well-known now for her street photography, but it wasn’t until after her death, when her photographs were found in a storage locker, that her work became public. Mostly this presents Maier’s photographs without commentary, highlighting her discerning eye for composition and knack for finding beauty in the mundane. Some of Maier’s self-portraits only feature her shadow, while others capture her reflection in a storefront window or a car’s side mirror. A strip of Super 8 film chronicles the crowded streets of 1970s downtown Chicago; a photo taken in 1965 depicts a woman arguing with a police officer on a New York City street; and a photo from 1975 shows a crumpled newspaper on a Chicago sidewalk. Insightful and appreciative, this celebrates the unique perspective of a luminous artist. (Oct.)