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Vivian Maier

Out of the Shadows

Vivian Maier

288 pages
Cityfiles Press

Updated with new material to celebrate the ten year discovery of Vivian Maier's work

This is the only book that tells the life story of Vivian Maier in words and pictures. Known as “the nanny photographer,” Maier became an Internet sensation after her photos were put online in 2009. Since then, Maier’s breathtaking pictures—which show everyday life in mid-century America—have earned her recognition of one of the masters of photography. Presenting her photographs alongside revealing interviews with those who knew her best, this volume puts Vivian Maier's work in context and creates a moving portrait of her as an artist.

To better understand Maier, authors Richard Cahan and Michael Williams studied census records, ship manifests and interviewed every person they could find who knew Maier, from her childhood days in the French Alps to the families whose children she cared for in the United States. They combined this biographical information, much of it unreported, with more than 300 photographs that she took starting in 1949 to create the first comprehensive record of her life story.

Author Bio
Vivian Maier is a photographic phenomenon. Born in New York City in 1926, she worked much of her life as a nanny, helping to raise children in different homes in New York, Chicago and Los Angeles. On the side, she took photographs—brilliant pictures of what she saw in her domestic life and as a world traveller. Her pictures are filled with empathy and beauty. Much of her work, negatives and prints, was found in a Chicago storage locker just before her death in 2009. What followed was a firestorm of attention, catapulting Maier from obscurity to worldwide attention.

Richard Cahan and Michael Williams were there at the beginning when Maier’s photographs were discovered. The authors of more than a dozen books, Cahan and Williams are considered photo historians. They find history in photo collections—whether it is the work of a single photographer such as Vivian Maier or the work of large governmental projects, such the War Relocation Authority, which documented the incarceration of Japanese American during World War II. They are the authors of two books about Maier: Vivian Maier: Out of the Shadows and Eye to Eye: Photographs by Vivian Maier.