You might not have ever heard of the name Vivian Maier. Judging from the era in which these photographs were taken, you probably think you should be somewhat familiar with the name. But the name isn't familiar because Vivian's incredible collection of photographs were only discovered recently.
In 2007, John Maloof, a Chicago resident and former real estate agent, bid on a box of negatives at an auction. Looking for images to use for a book about the history of the neighborhood of Portgage Park, he had no idea that what rested inside the boxes could turn his life upside down. Inside were thousands of negatives dating back to the 50s. He has since managed to collect all of her negatives. With no name attached to the photographs, but dozens of self-portraits, John had no idea whose world he was discovering until 2009, when he finally found a name. As it turns out, she had died only a few days before he found out who she was.
As soon as he began posting Vivian's photographs, emails from around the world came pouring in. Now, exhibitions are popping up around the globe with the first one being in Norway. The Chicago Cultural Center has Maier's work on display now through April 3.
* Thank you, Raegan, for sharing this information with me!