Vivian Maier – Digging Deeper

I was about to post this as a comment to my post last week, Vivian Maier Still in Hiding, but then I thought people often miss the comments, so instead this short post.

On yesterday’s Lens Blog I read a summary the first part of Digging Deeper Into Vivian Maier’s Past with the second instalment promised for today and probably there by now. Its a summary of a longer feature on the Vivian Maier Developed blog, where you can also read Part 2 – A Life in Pictures.

The researcher, Ann Markswho has no background in photography and started researching Maier only after seeing a documentary about her life — has learned a great deal about Maier’s family history“, some of which had also been uncovered by the sources in my previous piece.

It amplifies what was already known about her background, and the confirms the speculations about the closeness of her link with a photographer: “From early childhood, Maier spent a significant amount of time with a woman named Jeanne Bertrand, who worked as a professional photographer, as well as other positive female role models” and throws a great deal of light on what was a rather disturbed life. And I await today’s second part with interest.

What it won’t do is tell us any more about her as a photographer, and for that we will have to await detailed studies of the whole of her work – which appears to have been kept together by her tenaciously while she was able to do so – rather than the selected examples that we have so far seen. The second part does give some insight into how her photography developed, although unfortunately at least some of the illustrations there appear to be reproduced at the incorrect aspect ratio.

So far I remain unconvinced that she was anything more than a very capable and talented photographer able to imitate the styles of others. My question if there was a real photographic ‘Vivian Maier’ who had something distinctive to say remains unanswered.

One Response to “Vivian Maier – Digging Deeper”

  1. Lens’s second post, A peek into Vivian Meyer’s Family Album appeared while I was writing this.

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