Gallery of Fine Art Photography - Atlanta GA

dialogue

Vivian Maier Developed

Presentation by Ann Marks

The Real Story of the Photographer Nanny and a Thematic Review of her Work
Thank you to the standing room crowd who braved the elements on Saturday, January 19th.
Ann Marks

Ann Marks

When John Maloof’s 2013 documentary Finding Vivian Maier debuted, former New York business executive Ann Marks was one of thousands of people who were intrigued by the story of a mysterious Chicago nanny who made over 100,000 photographs that were hidden away unseen in storage lockers until John Maloof discovered them in 2007. Maier, who died in 2009 and never tried to exhibit or publicize her work during her lifetime, is now being hailed by critics as a master of street photography.
Marks felt such a keen interest in Maier’s life after watching the documentary and undertook a personal research project to fill in the blanks in this elusive artist’s life.
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“When I saw the movie Finding Vivian Maier I was so taken with the story and images, that I went online for more information. I felt if I understood Maier’s background, I could better understand her work. At the time, Cook County was looking for Vivian’s brother as he was the designated heir to her estate. I said to myself, ‘I bet I can find what happened to him’ and I did,” Marks said in a recent interview.
Virtually nothing was known about Vivian Maier before John Maloof purchased her photographs that were found in a defaulted storage locker and auctioned off. Maloof is the primary owner of Maier’s images and has been the driving force to bring her story to the public.
Despite the publication of several photo books of Maier’s work and the creation of the documentary, her family history remained a mystery. According to most accounts, Vivian was an extremely private person and rarely spoke of herself at all. Enter Ann Marks… For 30 years Marks was a marketing executive and worked for Kraft General Foods, American Express and Dow Jones/The Wall Street Journal. The skills she developed in her career helped her make important discoveries about Maier’s past. “I think my business background does tie into my work related to Vivian Maier. An important part of my work was understanding people through research—what they ate, how they shopped, what they read, how they made decisions—and the type of research I am doing regarding Vivian is an extension of that interest and expertise,” Marks said.
Marks dug though historical documents and government records to establish previously unknown facts about the photographer’s ancestry and life and collaborated with supporters in her hometown in the Haute Alpes. The only person to have access to Vivian Maier’s complete archive, Marks studied photographs for clues that enabled her to track down and interview individuals from Maier’s entire life, including those who knew her in New York during the time she began photography.
The Lumiere presentation covered key events from Maier’s life that informed her work as well as overarching themes represented in both her black & white and color images.
To see more of Vivian Maier’s B&W work visit her Lumière B&W artist page,
To see more of Vivian Maier’s Color work visit her Lumière Color artist page,
Or the exhibition page, Vivian Maier: The Color Work.
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