Vivian Maier: A Photographer's Life And Afterlife by Pamela BannosVivian Maier: A Photographer's Life And Afterlife by Pamela Bannos

Vivian Maier: A Photographer's Life And Afterlife

byPamela Bannos

Hardcover | October 10, 2017

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Who was Vivian Maier? Many people know her as the reclusive Chicago nanny who wandered the city for decades, constantly snapping photographs, which were unseen until they were discovered in a seemingly abandoned storage locker. They revealed her to be an inadvertent master of twentieth-century American street photography. Not long after, the news broke that Maier had recently died and had no surviving relatives. Soon the whole world knew about her preternatural work, shooting her to stardom almost overnight.
But, as Pamela Bannos reveals in this meticulous and passionate biography, this story of the nanny savant has blinded us to Maier’s true achievements, as well as her intentions. Most important, Bannos argues, Maier was not a nanny who moonlighted as a photographer; she was a photographer who supported herself as a nanny. In Vivian Maier: A Photographer’s Life and Afterlife, Bannos contrasts Maier’s life with the mythology that strangers—mostly the men who have profited from her work—have created around her absence. Bannos shows that Maier was extremely conscientious about how her work was developed, printed, and cropped, even though she also made a clear choice never to display it. She places Maier’s fierce passion for privacy alongside the recent spread of her work around the world, and she explains Maier’s careful adjustments of photographic technique, while explaining how the photographs have been misconstrued or misidentified. As well, Bannos uncovers new information about Maier’s immediate family, including her difficult brother, Karl—relatives that once had been thought not to exist.
This authoritative and engrossing biography shows that the real story of Vivian Maier, a true visionary artist, is even more compelling than the myth.
 Pamela Bannos is professor of photography in Northwestern University’s department of art theory and practice.  
Title:Vivian Maier: A Photographer's Life And AfterlifeFormat:HardcoverDimensions:352 pages, 9 × 6 × 1.3 inPublished:October 10, 2017Publisher:University of Chicago PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:022647075X

ISBN - 13:9780226470757

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Table of Contents


Part I: Beginnings and Endings
Chapter 1: A Fractured Archive
Chapter 2: A New World, a New Art Form
Chapter 3: A Family Divided / Photography’s Complex History

Part II: The Emergence of Vivian Maier
Chapter 4: Young Photographer / Final Days
Chapter 5: New York Street Photographer / Viral Vivian

Part III: The Reinvention of Vivian Maier
Chapter 6: Mysterious Nanny Photographer
Chapter 7: High Art / Downward Spiral

Part IV: The Aftermath
Chapter 8: The Missing Picture: Vivian’s Maier’s Last Thirty Years
Chapter 9: Those Who Did Not Know Her
Chapter 10: Who Owns Vivian Maier’s Photography?

Author’s Note and Acknowledgments
Abbreviations of Sources Used in Notes

Editorial Reviews

“The Vivian Maier who emerges from the pages of this meticulously researched book is ultimately more mysterious and important a figure than the initial, and mostly inaccurate, accounts of her life and photography portrayed. The interweaving of Maier’s story and photography’s technical and cultural history contextualizes her achievements and shows a reality that is much more compelling than prior characterizations of Maier as a naïve ‘nanny-photographer.’ Surprisingly, Bannos’ unsentimental yet powerful examination reveals a woman who was solidly in charge of her own creativity.”