Vivian Maier: Lost Photographs Of 1950s New York

Found after her death, Vivian Maier’s photographs capture New York City in motion

An unobserved moment. Passover in New York, photographed by Vivian Maier around 1960

An unobserved moment. Passover in New York, around 1960. Courtesy the Maloof Collection: Howard Greenberg Galleries

 

Two years before Vivian Maier died in 2009 at age 83, 30,000 of her negatives were bought at a Chicago thrift auction by former estate agent John Maloof. He was writing a book on Chicago history. Maier had been unable to pay the rental on a storage locker. So 100,000 of her unseen negatives housed in hundreds of boxes and undeveloped films were sold. “I was wondering how I would find enough old photos to illustrate the book and tried my luck at a local junk and furniture auction house,” says Maloof, who waited two years to investigate his purchase. “However, I knew to keep them. I thought: ‘I’m resourceful. I’ll look at them later when I have more time. Fast forward two years later, that purchase had unearthed some of the finest street photography of the 20th century.”

Realising the cultural treasure trove he had discovered, Maloof tracked down the storage unit rented in Maier’s name. Before long he owned the former nanny’s sensational archive of New York and Chicago street photography from the 1950s.

 

June 1954, New York, N.Y. Photo by Vivian Maier, courtesy the Maloof Collection:Howard Greenberg Galleries

June 1954, New York, N.Y. Photo by Vivian Maier, courtesy the Maloof Collection:Howard Greenberg Galleries

September 29, 1959, New York, NY. ©Estate of Vivian Maier:Maloof Collection, Courtesy Howard Greenberg Gallery, New York

September 29, 1959, New York, NY. ©Estate of Vivian Maier:Maloof Collection, Courtesy Howard Greenberg Gallery, New York

 

“My obsession drove us to compile a library of interviews and strange stories from across the globe. We found roughly 100 people who had contact with Vivian Maier. In the film we let people speak for themselves. I hope that this story comes through honest and pure, and does more than just uncover a mysterious artist but tells a story that changed the history of photography.”

– John Maloof

 

June 1954, New York, N.Y. Photo by Vivian Maier, courtesy the Maloof Collection:Howard Greenberg Galleries

June 1954, New York, N.Y. Courtesy the Maloof Collection:Howard Greenberg Galleries

 

June 1954, New York, N.Y. Photo by Vivian Maier, courtesy the Maloof Collection:Howard Greenberg Galleries

June 1954, New York, N.Y. Courtesy the Maloof Collection:Howard Greenberg Galleries

Staten Island Ferry, 1955. Photograph- Vivian Maier:Maloof Collection

Staten Island Ferry, 1955. Photograph- Vivian Maier:Maloof Collection

New York, NY. June 1954. Photo by Vivian Maier, courtesy the Maloof Collection:Howard Greenberg Galleries

New York, NY. June 1954. Courtesy the Maloof Collection:Howard Greenberg Galleries

 

©Estate of Vivian Maier:Maloof Collection, Courtesy Howard Greenberg Gallery, New York fashion

©Estate of Vivian   Collection, Courtesy Howard Greenberg Gallery, New York

 

©Estate of Vivian Maier:Maloof Collection, Courtesy Howard Greenberg Gallery, New York. Empire State.

©Estate of Vivian Maier: Maloof Collection, Courtesy Howard Greenberg Gallery, New York. Empire State.

 

©Estate of Vivian Maier:Maloof Collection, Courtesy Howard Greenberg Gallery, New York

©Estate of Vivian Maier: Maloof Collection, Courtesy Howard Greenberg Gallery, New York

October 8, 1954, New York, N.Y. Photo by Vivian Maier, courtesy the Maloof Collection:Howard Greenberg Galleries

October 8, 1954, New York, N.Y. Courtesy the Maloof Collection:Howard Greenberg Galleries

1954, New York, N.Y. Photo by Vivian Maier, courtesy the Maloof Collection/Howard Greenberg Galleries

1954, New York, N.Y. Courtesy the Maloof Collection/Howard Greenberg Galleries

New York, 1953 © Vivian Maier Estate, Courtesy of Maloof Collection and Howard Greenberg Gallery NY

New York, 1953 – © Vivian Maier Estate, Courtesy of Maloof Collection and Howard Greenberg Gallery NY

 

Untitled, 1953 © Vivian Maier Estate, Courtesy of Maloof Collection and Howard Greenberg Gallery NY

Untitled, 1953. © Vivian Maier Estate, Courtesy of Maloof Collection and Howard Greenberg Gallery NY

 

New York, March 1954 © Vivian Maier Estate, Courtesy of Maloof Collection and Howard Greenberg Gallery NY

New York, March 1954. Courtesy of Maloof Collection and Howard Greenberg Gallery NY

 

Vivian Maier lost photos

Self Portrait, Undated. Courtesy of Maloof Collection and Howard Greenberg Gallery NY

 

Vivian Maier, “Self-Portrait (1956)

Vivian Maier, “Self-Portrait (1956). Courtesy the Maloof Collection:Howard Greenberg Galleries

A documentary on Vivian Maier by John Maloof and Charlie Siskel, Finding Vivian Maier, was nominated for an Oscar in 2015 and has won numerous other awards.