Before there was Bill Cunningham and Scott Schuman, there was… Vivian Maier? The world’s love affair with street style photography is well documented, but one of its most talented figures was all but undiscovered until a few years ago. The prolific work of the late Maier (a nanny by profession) was happened upon by Chicago real estate agent John Maloof in 2007 when he bought a box of her negatives at an auction.
Maloof had no clue what a goldmine the negatives were at the time he purchased them, but is now in the process of scanning and digitizing the amazing photographs — a task that will take years. The first American exhibition of Maier’s work opened in Chicago on Friday.