Vivian Dorothy Maier is an American Photographer whose works were discovered and appreciated only after her death. Let’s read about this hidden talent on her birthday.

Vivian was born in New York City on 1 February 1926. Many aspects of her life remain unknown. She worked for about 40 years as a nanny in Chicago, and along with that pursued her passion that was photography. She has taken about 150,000 photographs during her lifetime. These photographs were primarily of the people and architecture of Chicago, Los Angeles and New York City.

During her lifetime, Vivian Maier’s photographs were never appreciated. Many of her negatives were never developed.  In 2007, some photo collectors acquired some of Vivian’s photographs and undeveloped negatives in her suitcases and boxes.

In July 2008, Vivian Maier’s photographs were first published on the Internet, but the work received little response. In 2009 this website was linked to Flickr, the image-sharing website. And this went viral. Thousands of people showed interest in Vivian Maier’s photographs. Her works subsequently accrued critical acclaim.  Unfortunately, Vivian Maier had already passed away on 21 April 2009. Her work has been exhibited around the world.

Her life was the subject of the documentary film ‘Finding Vivian Maier’, which premiered at the Toronto Film Festival and was nominated for the best documentary film at the 87th Oscar awards. Her works can be viewed on the website ‘’.

  • Poorna Krishnan

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