Viewing Vivian Maier

Hello! Staying with my Surrounded by Inspiration theme, I drove to LA twice on Saturday. Once to visit Resource Furniture with the Little Sister and once to see the Vivian Maier photo show with T. Resource Furniture might be addressed in another blog post.... This post is about the Vivian Maier photo show.

Vivian Maier was a nanny-photographer who left behind thousands of negatives, prints, and undeveloped film. A man bought a box of her negatives at an auction and has brought her work to the world. The video below is a trail for the film Finding Vivian.


I heard about her a few years ago and started searching the web for her work and story. She was an incredible photographer and I know because I majored in phootgraphy and had to study history of photography quite a bit! All that aside, she took pictures that captured a moment in time and proved how a picture is worth a thousand words. When I saw that an exhibit was coming to LA, T and I decided to see it!

Our schedules are a little crazy sometimes and the only day that worked for both of us happened to be the day of the official opening. T emailed the gallery and we secured a reservation. We arrived about 40 minutes early (you never know with LA traffic) and got a coffee and tea before heading over to the gallery. There were about four security people at the door and we found our name on one of their many lists and checked in. The event wasn't starting until 8pm so we walked around a bit and ended up finding a fabulous vintage shop! At about 8:05 we headed back to the gallery and were greated with this REALLY LONG line. We headed to the back of the line and enjoyed some of Vivian Maier's photos that were projected on the side of a building while we waited.

We were not in line very long when the security gentleman who had marked our name on the reservation list walked by and told us to follow him and that we didn't need to wait in line! I bet everyone around us were wondering who we were at that point. I felt like a VIP for sure. We entered the exibit and enjoyed looking at all the work on display. Vivian Maier captured the people of an era in a way that touched the soul.

Most of her work is black and white photographs. The majority of her content is scenes from Chicago where she was a nanny for 40 years. All walks of life are represented and each photograph is a snapshot telling a detailed story. She had a great eye and got close to her subjects. As we made our way to the last wall of photographs the gallery had become very crowded. T said the crowd was too much and he was ready to go. We returned to a few of our favorite photos and then left the gallery. Thank goodness we were giving the VIP treatment or we would never had been able to see the show.

On the drive home I thought of the black and white film that I needed to develop. Of photography as a passion, and the inspiration that was Vivian Maier.



1 comment:

  1. I think that I now know why you don't want me to dispose of any negatives, film, slides, or photos that are laying around........