Secret street photography goes on show in Moscow

27 August 2013

You’ve probably never heard of her but Vivian Maier is credited with pioneering street photography. From the Fifties to the Nineties, the American nanny Maier snapped tens of thousands of pictures of urban life in Chicago, New York and other cities around the world with a precision and attention to composition reminiscent of Henri Cartier-Bresson and Robert Doisneau.

Despite being such a prolific photographer, Maier didn’t show her work to anyone and was only discovered in 2007 when John Maloof, a real estate agent and historian, stumbled upon a treasure trove of 100,000 negatives and 2,000 undeveloped rolls of film at a Chicago auction house. Maloof championed her work, which he then published in book in 2011, two years after Maier had died, aged 83.

Now, an exhibition of Maier’s work is to go on display at the Lumiere Brothers Centre for Photography in Moscow. The exhibition includes 50 black-and-white prints of street life in Chicago and New York but also images from her trips to other part of the US, Egypt, Thailand and Italy all of which were captured with a Kodak Brownie and later with a more expensive Rolleiflex. The exhibition will run from 4 September to 27 October.