Vivian Maier exhibit to open at Chicago Public Library

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The photographs of Vivian Maier (shown in this portrait) will be presented in an exhibit at the Harold Washington Library beginning March 29. | COURTESY CHICAGO PUBLIC LIBRARY, FROM THE BOOK “VIVIAN MAIER: OUT OF THE SHADOWS

The world’s fascination with the work of photographer Vivian Maier grows only stronger this year as the Chicago Public Library will present “Vivian Maier: Out of the Shadows,” an exhibit of 55 silver gelatin prints of images from the book “Vivian Maier: Out of the Shadows” by Richard Cahan and Michael Williams.

The exhibit will open March 29 and run through Sept. 28 at the Harold Washington Library, 400 S. State.

According to a statement from CPL, “This exhibition puts Maier’s work in the context of her life during a highly creative period from the 1950s through the 1970s. In addition to her recognized street photography, the exhibit features a selection of images that show the artist’s relentless curiosity where she captured images that cover a vast range of subjects and styles. The exhibition presents Maier’s journeys from the pastures of rural France to the streets of Chicago. Maier’s unique ability to brilliantly capture the ideas and spirit of the period of the 1950s to the 1970s are particularly apparent in shots of Chicago’s famous Maxwell Street and protest scenes shot during the social unrest of 1968.”

Marina City Towers | Photo by Vivian Maier, Courtesy of Chicago Public Library

Maier (born in New York in 1926) moved to Chicago in the 1950s where she worked for 40 years as a nanny to support her photography passion. She shot a roll of film per day, simply wandering the streets of the city with her trusty Rolleiflex camera hanging from her neck, snapping photos of people and places that she found compelling. Her work remained unknown until negatives of thousands of her images were discovered by Chicago historian John Maloof at an estate auction in 2007. Maier died in 2009 at the age of 83, never realzing how her work would impact the art world.

For information, visit or call the Chicago Public Library at (312) 747-4050 [Call: (312) 747-4050] .

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