The strange tale of Vivian Maier has been well rehearsed by now. It has been the subject of countless articles, innumerable gallery programs, two documentaries and at least one court case. For those who haven’t heard it before, it goes a little like this.
In 2007, John Maloof, a Chicago-based collector and real estate developer, purchased about 30,000 negatives at a fire sale, hoping he might be able to use some of the photographs in a book he was co-writing about the Chicago suburb of Portage Park. What he discovered instead was a heretofore unknown street photographer whose work he started uploading to the internet. The work in question quickly went viral.