Vivian Maier in FOAM

The unbelievable story of the intensely guarded and private nanny Vivian Maier who spent her youth in France, moved to New York and later Chicago and documented the world around her in around 100.000 photos. Photos that were – for the bigger part – only discovered after she was unable to pay for the storage lockers that held her vast collection of color slides, negatives and rolls of undeveloped film in 200, a year before her death.

Obtaining Maier’s life work in an auction, John Maloof (@johnmaloof) made it his life work to archive and catalog for the enjoyment of others and for future generations.

Although most of Maier’s work is in black and white, she also shot a lot of color film, both negatives and slides. This was remarkable in a time where color photography was considered to be used only for advertising (or family snapshots), but certainly not as an artform that could be exhibited. Vivian Maier’s work posthumously made an incredible mark on the art of street photography and can be placed in the tradition of Diane Arbus and Saul Leiter.

The exhibition “Vivian Maier – Works in color” in FOAM (Fotografiemuseum Amsterdam) focusses solely on Maier’s color work. The exhibition is rather small, as are the actual prints, but the work itself is absolutely worth a visit. I especially liked the raised and secluded (and therefore private) room which only showed some of Maier’s numerous self portraits. And I was surprised that Maier also was a museum photographer!

Top tip: go see this exhibition if you can, and (top tip 2) pick up the beautiful “Vivian Maier: The Color Work” curated by Colin Westerbeck in the museum shop on your way out.

👨‍🎨 Vivian Maier (1926-2009)
🖼️ Works in color 1956-1986
🏛️ FOAM (@foam_amsterdam)
🎟️ Vivian Maier – Works in Color
📅 From June 1 – September 13