(201 to 300 of 788 replies)
johnmaloof 2:26am, 10 October 2009
I purchased a giant lot of negatives from a small auction house here in Chicago. It is the work of Vivian Maier, a French born photographer who recently past away in April of 2009 in Chicago, where she resided. I opened a blogspot blog with her work here; www.vivianmaier.com.

I have a ton of her work (about 30-40,000 negatives) which ranges in dates from the 1950's-1970's. I guess my question is, what do I do with this stuff? Check out the blog. Is this type of work worthy of exhibitions, a book? Or do bodies of work like this come up often?

Any direction would be great.
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(201 to 300 of 788 replies)
johnmaloof 8 years ago
Thanks Marja and Brian.

It must be made from what info is available on the net and her blog. Although, I do wonder what's in the book.
foig 8 years ago
Blog is awesome, i really enjoyed looking at those!

Man how good is photography some times! Just killer.
Paul Russell99 PRO 8 years ago
"Nannies: Emmanuelle Béart, Cerys Matthews, Louise Woodward Case, Josephine Bakhita, Jill Murphy, Kendra Kassebaum, Vivian Maier, Sally Rogers...

Pages: 48. Not illustrated."

So it's a book about some famous/infamous people who have worked as nannies at some point and has no pictures. Sounds a bit bonkers.
tijo 8 years ago
John's update yesterday:

Only 90,000 more negs to scan! Looking forward to seeing more colour!
th.flickr 8 years ago
these photos are great!
ceaseless oven [deleted] 8 years ago
seems there is more of her work out there:
Bennett V 8 years ago
John, keep up the good work, that is awesome stuff. This is such a great story.

I didn't see a comment form on the blog; in reply to your latest update, how do you know she traveled alone?
johnmaloof 8 years ago
bvc: Thanks for the encouragements!

I know she travelled alone because I have thousands of images of her travels and no one with her. Also, from what the family she worked for say, it confirms it as well.
Bennett V Posted 8 years ago. Edited by Bennett V (member) 8 years ago
OK, I'm just curious because I can see someone making the concious decision not to photograph their travelling companions. Unlikely, I know.

Looking forward to seeing more, thanks.
Ambra Vernuccio PRO Posted 8 years ago. Edited by Ambra Vernuccio (member) 8 years ago
I read through the whole thread. her work is really strong, I really like the close ups portraits. she was able to get something out of people.
from the way you have reconstructed all the story, I imagine her as a very shy character who was shadowing people and in a very discreet way taking picutres of them...without being noticed...without making too much noise...
(sorry my imagination is running wild!)

regarding all the guessing...who knows, maybe she just couldnt afford to develop them or she just thought that one day, she would have had the time and the money to develop all her work...

the whole story is really intriguing and quite fascinating finding out bits and pieces of her habits.

John, have you ever thought of getting the fundings by applying for a bursary with a project proposal? so you would actually be able to get the money to develop and select...

what it leaves me with the question is the editing process...

I think there is a big part of the photographer in the editing process...one photo rather than another one..

are you going to publish everything or just a selection?

are you going to make the selection or you will be leaving this to someone else?

ps..I am not critisizing or anything...I am just curious to know if you thought about this...
johnmaloof 8 years ago
bvc: I guess we'll never know for sure if she traveled alone until there is 100% certainty. That's one of the most exciting aspects of this project for me; finding out more about Vivian.

The documentary film will shed light on a lot of things.


Thank you for the thoughtful post. Questions are always welcome. Regarding funding for archiving/processing/etc., I've tried to get grants here and there, unsuccessfully. I may be attempting a fund drive soon...all will be informed ; )

I have been editing her work myself. I know it is posthumous but, it must be done. Even if she edited her own work a curator would most likely re-edit that for any exhibit, book, etc. I would, in essence, be her curator.

I won't be publishing her entire archive of over 100,000 negatives. It's just not doable or, in my opinion, beneficial to her at this point. I'll be thoughtfully posting what I feel is strong (factoring in as much information as possible). My eye is getting better with experience and practice. You can probably see evidence of that in her blog over the last 18 months.
Ambra Vernuccio PRO Posted 8 years ago. Edited by Ambra Vernuccio (member) 8 years ago
oh yes, I have seen the body of work...very strong!! I love it, it reminds me a lot of Diane Arbus also as composition...interesting that Vivian was an amateur and didnt have any training in photography...
Most of the great photographers of that time were usually trained ..

natural talent.

I think you are doing a great job with the editing...

I will follow the story...I got really captured by Vivian.!
johnmaloof 8 years ago
Vivian has great write-up in Chicago Magazine

..."Then, in October 2009, he linked to the blog on Flickr, the photo-sharing website, and posted a question about Maier’s pictures on a discussion board devoted to street photography: “What do I do with this stuff (other than giving it to you)?”

I cited HCSP but it didn't make the edit, unfortunately. Maybe next time.
johanna PRO 8 years ago
johnmaloof 8 years ago
Thanks Johanna! ; )

Yes, you can basically pre-order the book and DVD by pledging toward the project on Kickstarter.
Tony Martin (NT) PRO 8 years ago
This slide show came via the link posted by James Dodd above - www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cbcl2MDtLp0&NR=1

Wonderful. Thanks for the link James.
martinhanna 8 years ago
What would be extra cool for one of the donation levels would be an undeveloped roll. I'd buy that (and not just for a dollar).
Tony Martin (NT) PRO 8 years ago
martinhanna - pure genius, let the bidding begin!
ceaseless oven [deleted] 8 years ago
@martinhanna: I don't think scattering the work of vivian around like that would help at all.

Personally I'd rather donate so the project can be consumed into a public collection by a national museum or trust fund to be honest.
tijo 8 years ago
The Chicago Magazine article John posted is terrific.

But this sounds like a load of shit to me:

"Colin Westerbeck, the former curator of photography at the Art Institute of Chicago and one of the country’s leading experts on street photography, thinks Maier is an interesting case. He inspected her work after Maloof e-mailed him. “She worked the streets in a savvy way,” he says. “But when you consider the level of street photography happening in Chicago in the fifties and sixties, she doesn’t stand out.” Westerbeck explains that Maier’s work lacks the level of irony and wit of some of her Chicago contemporaries, such as Harry Callahan or Yasuhiro Ishimoto, and unlike them, she herself is often a participant in the shot. The greatest artists, Westerbeck says, know how to create a distance from their subjects."

What do people think of this assessment?

I would argue that Vivian Maier's connection with her subjects is a large part of what makes the work compelling. Westerbeck implies there is only space for ironic and witty pictures in the canon of street photography. But then he's an 'expert' so what do I know?!
KJ3 apparently 8 years ago
He has a very narrow view of what street photography is/should be imho. And I've never heard of him. But then I wouldn't have anyway. . .
i wonder what he thought of Helen Levitt compared to her male contemporaries in NY. . . I think he's missing the point somewhat.
johnmaloof 8 years ago
Regarding the conversation with Colin, I think this is more generally between the 'art world' and the rest of the world, and I can say that there is definitely a dichotomy. I like Colin and he's been helpful to me in regards to advice with the work. However, I do think that if he were to see the sheer number of strong images Vivian produced it would change his mind. What is on the blog is just scratching the surface and this is all he has seen so far.

I ultimately hope that this work doesn't become stigmatized by the art world, preventing it from being accepted as historically significant work. We shall see how things progress moving forward.
johnmaloof 8 years ago
@KingJonTheThird: Colin co-authored the book 'Bystander, The History of Street Photography' with Joel Meyerowitz and has many other titles in his CV that give him more than enough credibility as an expert. However, I have stated my case above.
Sixft Whiterabbit PRO 8 years ago
I wonder what Colin's take is on Gary Strochl.
KJ3 apparently 8 years ago
Thanks John, i stand corrected. I guess he knows his stuff ;-) i still think he seems to want 'art' more than street perhaps?
tijo 8 years ago
I believe when the remaining 90% of her work is scanned and archived there could be many surprises to surface. At the moment I see echoes of Jacob Riis in her efforts and later similarities with Arbus and Friedlander.
johnmaloof 8 years ago
@KingJonTheThird: He definitely knows his stuff but, you are on to something that I think will resurface time and again.

I don't expect this to be easy. I've lived with her work for the past few years now and know it quite well. I must say that I was being realistic from the start when I made the commitment to take this project on, and that it would have its ups and downs. But, hopefully in the end, my efforts, and everyone who has been promoting her work, will come to a head when she is found in history books, or, even the next edition of Bystander currently in the works (nudge, nudge, Joel and Colin).

She's still relatively new to the scene and must earn her keep. But, I think the work will stand the test of time.

@tijo: Yes, you are absolutely right. I've edited around 600 or so strong images from the 10,000 scans (a very good average for a photographer) and there's about 90,000 more to scan.
nubui PRO 8 years ago
Stunning discovery!

I have just become a Kickstarter backer of your film project and I blogged about it on my blog at chrismarquardt.com/blog
johnmaloof 8 years ago
@nubui: Double thanks!
chuckp PRO 8 years ago
Speaking (not too sententiously I hope) as someone who has worked in museums (but not as a curator) for over 30 years, there's little doubt that this work will find a place in the record. A collection of this size and quality (it needn't be "art"), reasonably well organized (i.e., it isn't a random pile of negatives in festering envelopes or no envelopes at all) is rare and has value to historians and sociologists as well as those of us interested in the art of street photography (whatever the Hell that is!) if for no other reason than it offers a coherent vision. Also, in defense of Colin, when someone takes a stab at editing a collection this large without the help of its maker, the results will reflect the editor's knowledge and sophistication at least as much, if not more so, than the original maker's. No offense to John (who is like a saint imo) but his appreciation of and feeling for the aesthetic has grown in tandem with this project, and thus far, he's only a tenth of the way in. So Tijo is right. The final verdict isn't in.
johnmaloof 8 years ago
@chuckp: well said
Dr Karanka 8 years ago
Donated for this one, best of luck.
johnmaloof 8 years ago
@Dr Karanka: Thank you!!
John Goldsmith 8 years ago
A 9 minute TV segment from local Chicago TV:


Nice work, John. :)
David Solomons 8 years ago
Great job. Wish I could make the exhibition.
johnmaloof 8 years ago
@Waxy: Thanks!
@David: I'll inform you when she makes it to London ; )
Bryan.Formhals Posted 8 years ago. Edited by Bryan.Formhals (member) 8 years ago
Some debate going on over at Metafilter

"I was the one to discover Vivian Maier and post her work 8 months before anyone else. That is a fact."

Looks like Vivian first hit the web in July, 2008

Bryan.Formhals Posted 8 years ago. Edited by Bryan.Formhals (member) 8 years ago
Blake Andrews offers some thoughts on Westerbeck's analysis.

It's up to the photography world to explain what sets these apart. Unfortunately the only photography expert quoted in the story has totally missed the boat. Colin Westerbeck says that the photos don't stand out from other Chicago photographs. Not enough irony or wit. Too much participation in the scenes. "The greatest artists", Westerbeck says, "know how to create a distance from their subjects."

What? I'm afraid I have to agree with Tiffany Jones here. That sounds like a complete load of shit. First of all, these photographs are as witty and cleverly constructed as any street photos out there. They may not be ironic, but since when is irony a requirement for quality, especially in mid-century photography?

Not distant enough from their subjects? I suppose that would discredit Arbus, Model, Hine, Atget, Sander, Weegee, Brassai, etc. Sorry guys, you'd be great artists if only you'd created more separation. Maybe Maier isn't as cool and calculated as Callahan or Ishimoto, but I actually view that as a plus. She's so present in her photos. It's an amazing gift. In short, critique is fine but please comment on what she is rather than what she isn't.

envious eyes [deleted] 8 years ago
Having seen many of the posted images of Vivian Maier, I have to agree and support the many positive comments about her work.
Over the many years of living in Chicago and attending numerous photography exhibitions at the Art Institute , I am of the opinion that any comment, good or bad from that institution is of NO value when it comes to photography.

I have some solid "credentials" to comment on what is great street photography, and Vivian's work ranks close to the very top of the list of great photographers.

John faces an uphill task and I hope that he is successful in bringing this work to the general photographic audience.

In the final analysis, the "proof" is in the work itself and the "story" comes in a distant second.

I also believe that John himself, as shown by his own work, has the talent to choose that images that he believes represents her best work so far discovered.

Street photography is one of the most difficult areas to obtain true quality imagery.

I am eager to see the images in person and will try to support John in his efforts to bring this photograher and artist her well deserved recognition.
stanco55 PRO 8 years ago
I have to wonder how Mr. Westerbeck's statement would differ had HE been directly involved in her discovery...

It just sounds a little too much like sour grapes- no way we're gonna treat this outsider as a full equal in our hallowed little academic and monied hierarchy, and if that means we have to downgrade his so called "discovery," then that's what we'll do. Class, money, power and all the petty, little mind games by those who do it best!

I think history and those critics without the elitist baggage will ultimately give Ms. Maier's work the acclaim it so richly deserves.

I've just been amazed at the quality, consistency and quantity of work Mr. Maloof has posted on his blog. Continued luck with this endeavor, and I look forward to the book, movie (and my film spool).
justiceimages PRO Posted 8 years ago. Edited by justiceimages (member) 8 years ago
this is absolutely awesome!!!!!!!!!!!!! Thanks for sharing...and it's great to hear your story of becoming interested in street photography due to stumbling on her collection...

It seems that only a small fraction of her work has actually been uncovered and even then it's amazing. I can't help but feel great anticipation for what is yet to be 'discovered'.

On another note. The 20th century photography scene is saturated with male 'street photographers'. Of course there were some woman photographers, but few and far between, and certainly they are not known like HCB etc.

This discovery would invite wildly different questions from different people, however, i have to say that it makes me wonder what the world looked like through they eyes of a 'Nanny/Woman' in 20th C USA. Is there a photographic 'presence' which she holds when she took to the streets that is altogether different from other photographers? Is this 'presence/vibe' translated through the way she photographed her subjects? i.e. do people in her photos seem calmer than they would otherwise because maybe she was a woman? I'm just throwing ideas out there btw.

You are a lucky man that's for sure. I'm glad that you know what you are doing with them and appreciate her talent. It could be far worse.

All the best with this endeavor. I can already say that she is now safely in my 'inspirational category'....and i wait to see the rest of them.

p.s. just donated...looking forward to the book :D
Jong Cablitas 8 years ago
Great stuff you got there John!! Looking forward for the book! Where can I get updates?
wooden trade [deleted] 8 years ago
Look this is great stuff you have here. Really invaluable pieces of modern history. I am sure more than a few will make financial offers on what you've got. One thing is certain keep these things preserved well. Certainly the intrinsic value, and financial value will not be lost in time. Again nice collection.
abdul.kalam 8 years ago
wow! amazing thread to read through. its half 3 in the morning here & I'm still going through links, posts, blogs & articles everyone's posted up!

her work is amazing.

will definitely be donating! :)
quaint fork [deleted] 8 years ago
i just found out about the treasure youve come upon, i wish you the best of luck !
Vitaliy P. PRO 8 years ago
I just remembered reading this post when it was first posted and just yesterday, I saw news feeds, videos, etc all about her work, thanks to you. Glad to see that it's picked up momentum.
LisaMarie67 Posted 8 years ago. Edited by LisaMarie67 (member) 8 years ago
This is just an incredible story. Not only the story of Vivian Maier, but the fact of what you are doing with her work. It does appear more than just chance may be at play here. You, and she, have given me a great gift. I am a portrait photographer and often forget to look at the details in everyday life. But no more. I can not wait to see the documentary and the book. I will surely be supporting these efforts to get her work out there and will spread the word as much as I can. The best of luck and thank you!
Bryan.Formhals Posted 8 years ago. Edited by Bryan.Formhals (member) 8 years ago
@johnmaloof: Think we should link all the stories and blog posts at the top, under your initial post? Seems this thread has become sort of an aggregator for all things VM.

A nice post from John Edwin Mason that puts her work into some historical context.

There's no doubt that Maier was deeply engaged with the visual culture of her time. Photography was moving away from the humanist traditions of the '30s and '40s and haltingly embracing the less literal and darker visions of, say, Robert Frank, Roy DeCarava, and William Klein. Maier shared this sensibility and must have seen this work.

Vivian Maier, Photographer: More Than Just A Good Story (A Lot More)
Semilog Posted 8 years ago. Edited by Semilog (member) 8 years ago
This is a guess — one never knows how things will unfold — but I rather strongly suspect that over time, Maier's work will look more important, and that Westerbeck's judgement thereof will look increasingly stupid, craven, and perhaps sexist.
"It just sounds a little too much like sour grapes- no way we're gonna treat this outsider as a full equal in our hallowed little academic and monied hierarchy, and if that means we have to downgrade his so called "discovery," then that's what we'll do. Class, money, power and all the petty, little mind games by those who do it best!"

Welcome to the world of photography that excels in elitism. Never could fully understand that. I'm certain that many of us would like to put together a collection of our own work for the world to see-- and actually be alive when it happens! Here we have another example of a posthumous celebration of someone's life work, but of course if someone else isn't making money off of it, then it's not valid.

I must be channeling Van Gogh.... ; ^ )
MarkColman 8 years ago
John, looks like most of the undeveloped film is Plus-X and Tri-X, right?

Not sure how old the film itself is, but you may want to prioritize by developing the Tri-X first, as it tends to fog more easily over time due to the fact that it's higher speed.

I'm also curious as to what developer you are using.

I think the work will be accepted, if edited to it's strong points.

Finally, aren't you tempted to shoot sqaure now?!

Best of luck with all the scanning, developing, book and movie!
johnmaloof 8 years ago
Thanks everyone! The support has been intense!

@Jong: All updates will be on her blog.

@BryanF: Not sure, but if you think it would be more organized, feel free. I like that this thread shows the actual time line of happenings from the beginning of her online exposure.

@MarkColman: Yes, Plus-X and Tri-X. The B&W film itself is mostly from the early 1970's (some from the 1960's too). I started using Kodak D-76 but, I now use a small lab with one person working them. Yes, I was inspired to shoot with a Rolleiflex and you can see some of my images on Flickr are from that camera. Thanks!!
Nick_Turpin PRO 8 years ago
Congratulations John I see the film is fully funded and more!

kickstarter page.
celieann 8 years ago
Just watched a video of your story and Vivian's. Wonderful, amazing, fantastic. You are doing exactly what Vivian could not do--show her work. Whether she was too shy, too private or incapable of reaching out and showing what she does we will never now. But we know one thing: she valued her photographs or she would not have saved them. She saved her photos for you--she knew some how some way that you were in her future. And that you would do exactly what she could not do. I support you along with all the wonderfully supportive people who have reached out to you.

Will be watching for new postings. Thanks so much for sharing with all of us.
Lainey1 PRO 8 years ago
I adore her work, and love that you have the blog and are making a movie/book. I want to get both when they come out. I will be donating to the cause for sure. This woman photographer is the best I've seen in a long time. It's really quite a shame that she couldn't have had more exposure to the world. I think her privacy was more important to her, by what i've read on your blog. Still, her work is fantastic and I would love to have a book of all of her work. When will the DVD be coming out?
chsiqueira 8 years ago
Hello John,
I found the vivian's blog yesterday. It is a incredible story. I will write something about your finds and efforts to my brazilian audience.
and link you Kickstarter page.
Keep your work, and I will wait by the documentary.
Kinoz 8 years ago
Her work and story have reached even here in Malaysia, being an aspiring Street Photographer based in Malaysia, i must say that his work is superb and on par with the like of HCB and other photographer of her time IMHO. xD

I wish some of his picture could be make into a coofee table book. :) Take good care of those negative. :D
Bruce Clarke PRO Posted 8 years ago. Edited by Bruce Clarke (member) 8 years ago
I stumbled across this amazing story today via DP Review, and couldn't stop reading. The internet is a wonderful tool to help spread the word about this remarkable talent that could easily have disappeared for ever.
antielectrons Posted 8 years ago. Edited by antielectrons (member) 8 years ago
Just came across this story. Very strong photos. Amazing story. Clearly Vivian had her own particular vision (who cares if it is not appreciated by this or that critic).

Given she was such a private person, and does not seem to have printed most of her images I wonder if she would be happy or not that they are now out there for all to see? Or perhaps it was self doubt and a lack of support that kept them locked away....

Good luck. Will watch out for hte book and film when they are published.
antielectrons 8 years ago
p.s The Rolleiflex that Vivian his holding in most of her early images looks to be Roilleiflex Automat MX-EVs (Model K4A) June 1951 - March 1954, and not the grey Rolleiflex T that John is shown pulling out of a box in the documentary "finding Vivian Maier"...
scribblegurl 8 years ago
I just found out about this today; a photographer/cinamatographer/editor friend sent it to me. I think it's a pretty incredible story, and I'm glad that someone has discovered her work and is emotionally invested in protecting it and bringing it to public light. Thanks, John, for your work in that regard. :)
Gio Marchese PRO 8 years ago
A friend sent me a link to your blog & the news feature. Wow!! what an interesting & amazing discovery & what an amazing lady. Full credit to you for all your hard work.

From what i've seen she was an amazing street photographer & she will live on through her photographs.
Jay Panelomo 8 years ago
Wow - can't get enough of Vivian Maier in the WWW. Her photos are really inspirational.

Good luck @johnmaloof - and looking forward to the documentary and exhibitions.
lesleyvillenue 8 years ago
This is a great story. It is a pity that Westerbeck didn't run with the concept. It seems from reading his post that his negativity derives more from sour grapes at having missed the wonderful opportunity to procure these negatives.

Perhaps more focus needs to be drawn to Westerbeck's 'apparent' resume - in other words is he really that experienced to making such wholesale judgements. It does seem a shame that the whole project has been sullied by some supposed expert on the sidelines taking pot shots at the project.

Most critics would dream of making a find such as this, perhaps in a dusty attic or something of that nature. Westerbeck seems to be the one locked in that dusty attic, forever searching for that elusive treasure trove of a forgotten photographers collection of negatives.
antielectrons Posted 8 years ago. Edited by antielectrons (member) 8 years ago
Yes, Westerbeck does seem to be speaking from a weird place.

There is of course a very important painting for the history of art by an Artist called Velazquez, that has the artist in the image, so vivian is in very hallowed company...

johnmaloof 8 years ago
Sorry for the late acknowledgments, work on the Chicago exhibition has me spread very thin.

Thanks for the encouragement everyone! I look forward to Friday to celebrate Vivian and meet many new friends.
lenses*for*sale 8 years ago
So, where will the potential money from this project go?

Just curious.

The Fiery X-Scotsman Posted 8 years ago. Edited by The Fiery X-Scotsman (member) 8 years ago
For your reference John, so you know where Bob is coming from with his question...


The thread at RFF has been deleted.

As others have said, keep up the good work!
NateVenture Posted 8 years ago. Edited by NateVenture (member) 8 years ago
John, ignore the naysayers. You have the rights to these photos and the right to someday profit from them. Best of luck.

I seriously cannot wait to see her work from traveling the world, especially Vietnam.
BennehBoy 8 years ago
I hope the money, if any, goes into John's pocket, he seems to be putting in the effort - so why not?
kariemitchell 8 years ago
this is amazing. I am blown away with her work. Chills. Thank you for bringing it into the world for us to enjoy. Keep up your efforts.
jsteck40 8 years ago
Bravo John! Keep up the great work. I'm looking forward to seeing more.
Adam Dzieciolkiewicz 8 years ago
The whole story is so amazing! I think You really had a lot of luck, when You bought all of her work, and it is great that we can all see it. Bring some more works on the blogspot please!
HoodedOne PRO 8 years ago

Wow, what a compelling story this is. Reading this thread I started wondering what happened to her gear, but the Chicago tonight video explained that.
I wish I had the time and money to visit the exhibit in Chicago, but i guess i'll have to wait for it to reach europe (preferably the Netherlands :) and here www.foam.nl/index.php?pageId=12 ).
This story also illustrates the advantage of film over digital . What would we do in 50 years when we find a harddisk labelled "photo archive". Will we still be able to access the files on the disk !!!!!

Keep up the amazing work, and keep showing us more of these amazing pictures.
johnmaloof 8 years ago
@ Bob338: I understand the concern but, I haven't broken even, let alone make a profit. I haven't even begun to think about this part yet, but it will come eventually, hopefully. I get a whopping $300 for the Cultural Center exhibition. I'm not going to tally up my expenses here but, it is significant and the archive must generate funds to, well, be archived.

@ Everyone...Thanks!
Dr Karanka 8 years ago
John, have you calculated total costs of development, scanning, archiving, etc? They'd be quite a good figure to have around for fundraising, and I bet they're rather high!
Graflok Posted 8 years ago. Edited by Graflok (member) 8 years ago
Mr. Maloof,

I'm curious. Could you tell us more about how you found the executor? Is this a member of Vivian's family? Are there heirs? Is there a will? Who owns the IP rights here?

johnmaloof 8 years ago
@Dr Karanka: The fundraising is for the film budget which is separate from the archive. Have not calculated all of my costs yet but they are rather high indeed, well, for me at least.
johnmaloof 8 years ago
@Graflok: Presently, I have entered into a non-disclosure agreement that covers the very aspects that you have brought up. Once the terms are finalized I will then be at liberty to share that information. Thanks!
lesleyvillenue 8 years ago
In reply to Bob 337's slanderous inferences, I think that John is doing photography a wonderful service. It amazes me that someone who is apparently 'tired' of the all the talk surrounding this discovery, hasn't formed a sound judgement about John's intentions. If Bob 337 you had been following all of this chatter, then it would be obvious that John is organizing this project for the love of it, not as a pure money whoring enterprise.

After a quick look at 'Bob's stream', I am left with that feeling that we have a closet collector in our midst (especially with the antique black paint Leicas on display in his stream) who has closed his mind off to the joys of the photographic image and is more concerned with expensive old cameras. Your whole stream screams camera fondler.

This sort of behavior is typical of those who hang out at camera forums i.e like rangefinder forum. As soon as a thread delves into a discussion of the photographic image, they will bail out of the discussion as they have nothing of value to input while at the same time shooting slanderous blanks while clutching their expensive cameras.

Your words and actions are truely pathetic.
lenses*for*sale 8 years ago
Dear Leslie, It's libel not slander, and it's Bob338 not Bob337, dummy.

I asked a few legitimate questions about where the money was going and if John actually had the right to publish these photos. Why are you so offended by a few questions? John didn't seem to be offended by it. I think it's fair for me to ask the questions since he has brought Vivian's work into a public forum.

And as far as me being a camera fondler, so what? There is nothing about me that's in the closet, I like collecting pretty cameras, so what? When you get out of liberal arts college with your useless degree you may find that you want to have nice things too.

Oh yeah, walking around with a Holga/Diana/Lomo piece of crap in The Mission or Silver Lake or Brooklyn (or where ever your shit-hole studio apartment is) doesn't make you any more a photographer than me and my 'antique black paint Leicas.'

So go f*ck yourself and get back to feeling self righteous.

lenses*for*sale 8 years ago
Dear Leslie, I have a question for you; why can't everyone see your photostream? Could it be that you want to keep your work private and control who sees it and where it may get published? Don't you think Vivian should have that right too?

Also, the black M4 you ranted about was actually posted on there for someone interested in buying it, not for bragging. It's still for sale if you can shake a few more dollars loose from your parents.

two cute dogs 8 years ago
Without wishing to get involved between you two lovebirds, Bob338 has raised an interesting question regarding what Vivian would have wanted. I would be interested to hear (or see a link to where he may have discussed it before) as to John's thinking on this.
Bryan.Formhals 8 years ago
I'm of the mind to axe the trolls but I'll leave it up to the group.

What do you think?
two cute dogs 8 years ago
Between the invective there were some reasonably interesting points made. There's trolls (eg that nikon bloke recently) and people that are interested in the discussion but get sidetracked into fisticuffs (that we all do sometimes). I'd leave it.
lenses*for*sale 8 years ago
please feel free to delete my moronic response above. i wasn't trolling but honestly wondering about the money and IP rights that don't seem to get discussed anywhere.

Kerstin Mattys 8 years ago
There is no trolling about putting questions as being delighted is no trolling either. (Granted, the f+++ part is not that nice, but isn't this somehow a rude forum?) I can share both point of views: the great enthusiastic work of John and the questions about the issue, cause the content is not his original work, the copy right could be an interesting thing, if there is nevertheless anyone left related to Vivian Maier.
radioripster 8 years ago
I have just been made aware of Vivian Maier's work. I'm floored. What a treasure of photographs. I get it..I understand what she saw in most of her work. I'm so glad it has been saved, kept safe and is now being seen.
The simple little stories are beautiful and wonderful time capsules.

I'm now a student of Vivian Maier.
Zlatko Batistich 8 years ago
John, best of luck with your project. Vivian's photos are wonderful and well-worth the effort!
Rus Mulyadi 8 years ago
Very exciting discovery, beautiful work of Vivian!

Can't wait to see her work when she was travelling
Ron Slattery 8 years ago
There's a bit more to the story than is being told. One instance is the part on John's website that says -

"I found her name written with pencil on a photo-lab envelope. I decided to 'Google' her about a year after I purchased these only to find her obituary placed the day before my search. She passed only a couple of days before that inquiry on her."

Well, there's some information missing there.

I've known John for over 10 years. We're not strangers by any means. We were emailing her name back and forth months before Vivian passed away. John had her full name (and much more information) months before the - "only to find her obituary placed the day before my search.".

If anyone has questions about Vivian Maier, I'll be glad to share what information I have with you here.
Semilog 8 years ago
The money and IP rights "don't seem to get discussed anywhere" because: (1) there seems to be no public controversy; (2) in the absence of such controversy it's none of your (or my) business; (3) the photographs, and Maier herself, are a hell of a lot more interesting than these apparent non-issues (and they're a hell of a lot more interesting than hoarding old Leica bits, too).
lenses*for*sale 8 years ago
@ Ron Slattery: Thank you for coming forward. I know there is more to this story than there seems to be. I can't understand why no one is bothering with the rights of the photographer. Everyone wants to see the work(including me) but her rights shouldn't be trampled in the process. Too much groupthink going on here for my taste...

@ Semilog:
1. There is no public controversey as yet because no one has asked these questions until now.
2. This is the business of anyone who wants their rights as a photographer(and as a dead person) kept intact.
3. However interesting the photographs may be, that doesn't trump her rights and copyright law.
4. 'Hoarding old Leica bits' doesn't infringe on anyone's rights. If you don't want to hoard anything, don't hoard anything, but I want to.

Graflok 8 years ago
@ Ron Slattery

Yes, I have some questions. Are there any known living family members or heirs? Who is the executor of Vivian's estate that Mr. Maloof says he is in contact with? Is any member of Vivian's family being compensated for the income generated from these images?

And, could you elaborate on the "much more information" that you mentioned that Mr. Maloof had "months before" the Google search? Did Mr. Maloof meet with Vivian during this period?

overjoyed wrench [deleted] 8 years ago
Blergh, copyright. If no heirs come forward the images should be released copyright free. Doubtful this will happen given the level of interest that now surrounds the whole story.

The interesting question to me is why there is so much left to process (undeveloped rolls). Clearly Vivian enjoyed the physical process of shooting photographs, perhaps the resultant images were of less interest. Or perhaps she simply never got around to processing them due to lack of time/money.
Ron Slattery Posted 8 years ago. Edited by Ron Slattery (member) 8 years ago

The executor of the estate are the children that Vivian nannied. A couple of them are lawyers. I'm sure they're covering all the bases regarding copyright law.

As far as I know there are no know heirs... but... there was a man from Argentina who claimed that Vivian was his girlfriends great grandmother. That was in october of 2009.

John never met with Vivian but he did know her name well before her obit was published. Months before. It was posted on my website in July of 2008. We were emailing her name back and forth for months before she passed. The whole google search doesn't really mean anything. He has her name - from me - in emails. We were friends. i was helping him develop the project. I've been collecting vernacular photographs for many years. My website has been up since 2004. There was no mystery to her name. I gave it to him.

One of the last emails I got from John was a link to the story of Berenice Abbott and Eugene Atget. Here's a quote from the wikipedia entry. (it was the link he sent me)

"In 1925, Man Ray introduced her to Eugène Atget's photographs. She became a great admirer of Atget's work, and managed to persuade him to sit for a portrait in 1927. He died shortly thereafter. While the government acquired much of Atget's archive — Atget had sold 2,621 negatives in 1920, and his friend and executor André Calmettes sold 2,000 more immediately after his death[11] — Abbott was able to buy the remainder in June 1928, and quickly started work on its promotion. An early tangible result was the 1930 book Atget, photographe de Paris, in which she is described as photo editor. Abbott's work on Atget's behalf would continue until her sale of the archive to the Museum of Modern Art in 1968. In addition to her book The World of Atget (1964), she provided the photographs for A Vision of Paris (1963), published a portfolio, Twenty Photographs, and wrote essays.[12] Her sustained efforts helped Atget gain international recognition."

As I said, this was one of the last emails I got from John. Draw your own conclusions.
Ron Slattery 8 years ago
@EDTM There were many many undeveloped rolls. I bought them at the auction. I had developed a few rolls. It wasn't cheap. I still have the proof sheets and negatives from those first rolls of film.

John contacted me regarding the rolls of film. He's someone I've known for many years. He really wanted the film. I contacted my friend Nick from Squareamerica.com. He's a photo collector here in Chicago. We discussed the situation and I decided to sell the rolls of film to John at a very cheap price. I probably could have put them on ebay one roll at a time and made a tidy sum of money..... but I'm uninsured and have ongoing medical issues. medicine was an issue, the project seemed like a good one John was friend. He was practically begging me for the film. I let him have it. I kept about 100 rolls for myself.
envious eyes [deleted] 8 years ago
BOB338: To me your questions only sound of sour grapes.
It seems to me that there are two major divisions of photographers. ln my years of photo experience and interaction, as an ex- Nikon School Instructor and professional, the ONLY thing that matters is the final image not the Nikon, Leica or Holga camera, not film or digital, not use of dodging and burning or Photoshop. My credentials are my images. Vivian's work and worth is assessed by her outstanding quality of her images (thanks to John Maloof). Each of us will evaluate her work and either be impressed or bored.
To my point, I looked at your Photostream, and I was totally bored.

John's start into his own work, even admitting that he has tried to copy Vivian's work, is in my opinion extraordinary. If NOTHING ELSE COMES OF VIVIAN'S WORK AND EXHIBITION, I personally am very pleased to know that it has motivated John to pick up the camera and produce some great images. In fact, I will predict that, with some guidance and direction he has the capability of becoming a significant street photographer.

All questions about my "credentials" can be answered by looking at my Photostream.

For now, I feel honored to be going to the exhibition tomorrow and shaking John's hand and hoping to join many other in support of his project.
lenses*for*sale 8 years ago
@ GTI R32: I have never claimed to be a good photographer, it's a hobby to me. If you want to insult me by calling me a fondler or saying my pictures are boring that's fine, but don't tell me that asking questions is wrong.
Everyone wants to see the rest of her work, including me, but I think it should handled properly, not by an amateur just learning how to develop film and sitting in his attic with a scanner. If John really just wants to respect the work and present it for it's historical significance he should let someone who knows what they're doing handle it.

Lucas de Soto 8 years ago
Well the complicated part here involving her estate, is that for all anyone knows, she may have some family overseas (since apparently she spent quite some time in France right?)
However all of her property is in the USA. What is more is that she never got to look at her photos herself, which is the most facinating aspect of the entire situation. I mean she is obviously a master, nothing in her photos is by mistake, each of her photos are meticulously framed and composed I feel (even if they are candids).
We are all so grateful that John decided to share such flawless work.
I wonder if you have done a search for family in France? Just asking
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