Title Vivian Maier: A Photographer's Life And Afterlife.
Book Condition Hardcover with dustjacket. Brand new book.
Publisher University of Chicago Press, Chicago and London: 2017.
Seller ID 90939X1
Who was Vivian Maier? Many people know her as the reclusive Chicago nanny who wandered the city for decades, constantly snapping photographs, which were unseen until they were discovered in a seemingly abandoned storage locker. They revealed her to be an inadvertent master of twentieth-century American street photography. Not long after, the news broke that Maier had recently died and had no surviving relatives. Soon the whole world knew about her preternatural work, shooting her to stardom almost overnight. But, as Pamela Bannos reveals in this meticulous and passionate biography, this story of the nanny savant has blinded us to Maier's true achievements, as well as her intentions. Most important, Bannos argues, Maier was not a nanny who moonlighted as a photographer; she was a photographer who supported herself as a nanny. In Vivian Maier: A Photographer's Life and Afterlife, Bannos contrasts Maier's life with the mythology that strangers—mostly the men who have profited from her work—have created around her absence. Bannos shows that Maier was extremely conscientious about how her work was developed, printed, and cropped, even though she also made a clear choice never to display it. She places Maier's fierce passion for privacy alongside the recent spread of her work around the world, and she explains Maier's careful adjustments of photographic technique, while explaining how the photographs have been misconstrued or misidentified. As well, Bannos uncovers new information about Maier's immediate family, including her difficult brother, Karl—relatives that once had been thought not to exist. This authoritative and engrossing biography shows that the real story of Vivian Maier, a true visionary artist, is even more compelling than the myth. Part I: Beginnings and Endings Chapter 1: A Fractured Archive Chapter 2: A New World, a New Art Form Chapter 3: A Family Divided / Photography's Complex History Part II: The Emergence of Vivian Maier Chapter 4: Young Photographer / Final Days Chapter 5: New York Street Photographer / Viral Vivian Part III: The Reinvention of Vivian Maier Chapter 6: Mysterious Nanny Photographer Chapter 7: High Art / Downward Spiral Part IV: The Aftermath Chapter 8: The Missing Picture: Vivian's Maier's Last Thirty Years Chapter 9: Those Who Did Not Know Her Chapter 10: Who Owns Vivian Maier's Photography? Epilogue 352 pages, 30 halftones, 6 x 9. "Stories--like snapshots--are shaped by people, and for particular purposes. There's always an angle. A new biography, Vivian Maier: A Photographer's Life and Afterlife, by Pamela Bannos, strives to rescue Maier all over again, this time from the men who promulgated the Maier myth and profited off her work. . . . Almost point by point, Bannos refutes how Maier has been marketed. . . . The achievement of Bannos's intelligent, irritable self-reflexive study is in its restraint. She unseats the ghost and restores to us the woman--but in her own words and images, and without psychologizing. It's a portrait as direct as any of Maier's, and what a distinct pleasure it is to meet her gaze again." Luc Sante | Bookforum "Patiently and lucidly detailed by Pamela Bannos in her nearly forensic biography--which unties many knots and brings order to what was previously a chaotic welter of information and misinformation."--Parul Sehgal | New York Times "At last, we have a way of separating the individual from the myths that have been constructed around her. The revelation of greater context is the beating heart of Bannos's book, and she's clear from the start that she sees it as an act of feminist reclamation."--Nation "Meticulously researched. . . . Bannos's biography is a vital contribution to understanding the historical relevance of Maier's work and an important challenge to the way in which Maier's work and legacy have been represented thus far."--Publishers Weekly "By carefully analyzing the artist's images, Bannos skillfully tracks her entire adult life: work history, where she lived and traveled, and her interests, and is able to look past the mystique of the 'eccentric nanny with a camera' to tell the true Maier story. . . . The book's strengths are Bannos's exhaustive research and her ability to connect the greater history of photography in to the account of Maier's curious life. This extraordinary work is recommended for all art history and photography enthusiasts."--Library Journal "Bannos's engrossing, meticulously researched biography sensitively reconstructs Vivian Maier's very private life in conjunction with her now massive public legacy as a visionary photographer. Many questions remain and always will. However, Bannos's comprehensive narrative ensures that Vivian Maier's story and the treasure trove of her work will live on, transcending the world of photography. . . . A fascinating glimpse into the life of an eccentric, legendary photographer whose work came to prominence only with her death." Shelf Awareness for Readers "Bannos's engrossing, meticulously researched biography sensitively reconstructs Vivian Maier's very private life in conjunction with her posthumous legacy as a visionary photographer. Many questions remain and always will. However, Bannos's comprehensive narrative ensures that Vivian Maier's story and the treasure trove of her work will live on.. . . . A fascinating glimpse into the life of an eccentric, legendary photographer whose work came to prominence only after her death."--Shelf Awareness
(Key Words: Vivian Maier, Photographers, Photography, Pamela Bannos, Biography, Letters, Chicago, Illinois, Urban History).