Vivian Maier Developed


Vivian Maier Developed: The Untold Story of the Photographer Nanny

The riveting true story behind the fascinating life of world-renowned street photographer Vivian Maier

The photographer nanny, Vivian Maier, whose work was famously discovered in a Chicago storage locker, captured the imagination of the world with her masterful images and mysterious life. Before posthumously skyrocketing to global fame, she so deeply buried her past that even the families she lived with knew little about her. No one could relay where she was born or raised, if she had parents or siblings, if she enjoyed personal relationships, why she took photographs and why she didn’t share them with others. Now, the full story of the artist’s extraordinary life is explored in VIVIAN MAIER DEVELOPED by Ann Marks, one of the few people to see Vivian’s complete personal records and archive of 140,000 images. Remarkably, the story that is uncovered, is even more enthralling than the mystery itself.

Based on meticulous investigative research, VIVAN MAIER DEVELOPED reveals the story of a woman who fled from a family with a hidden history of illegitimacy, bigamy, parental rejection, substance abuse, violence, and mental illness to live life on her own terms. Left with a limited ability to disclose feelings and form relationships, she expressed herself through photography, creating a secret portfolio of pictures teeming with emotion, authenticity, and humanity. With limitless resilience she knocked down every obstacle in her way, determined to improve her lot in life and that of others by tirelessly advocating for the rights of workers, women, African and Native Americans. No one knew that behind the detached veneer was a profoundly intelligent, empathetic, and inspired woman—a woman so creatively gifted that her body of work would become one of the greatest photographic discoveries of the century. She is now considered among the very best of the 20th century street photographers, with the likes of Bernice Abbott, Lisette Model, and Robert Frank.

Renowned street photographer, Joel Meyerowitz, describes that in VIVIAN MAIER DEVELOPED (on sale December 7, 2021, Atria Books/Simon & Schuster, ISBN 9781982166724, $40) Marks approaches her subject “with the wit and tenacity of a Sherlock.” As Maier’s definitive biography, the book features 400 of her images, many never-before published and placed for the first time in the context of her life, chronicling her photographic development and the fascinating progression of her self-portraiture. Marks became captivated by the photographer after viewing the academy-award nominated documentary “Finding Vivian Maier” and set out to address questions raised but left unanswered, going to unprecedented lengths to track down those who knew Maier during each stage of her life. She scrutinized the artist’s photos for clues and triangulated roof lines, traced proverbial candlesticks, and conducted virtual neighborhood treks to identify their subjects. VIVIAN MAIER DEVELOPED is an incredible feat of research and dedication that illuminates a major force in 20thcentury photography, and profiles a woman from limited means who successfully fought to live a satisfying life while working for the greater good.

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