She spent her entire life with a camera in hands. Over 120,000 shots, super 8 and 16mm movies, varied recordings, scattered photographs, and many non-developed film rolls found in 2007, two years before this exceptional artist died. Vivian Maier is given pride of place in a compelling exhibition running from September 15, 2021 to January 16, 2022 at the Musée du Luxembourg.
Born in 1926 in New York, Maier grew up and lived in a plentiful, rich, and often changing society. Whether it was in New York or Chicago (where she lived in from 1956 to 2009), the photographer is swimming in the American dream, overexposed modernity, architectural immoderation. This is this very light, crazy world, marked by liberty that you find on the hundreds of thousands of shots and film rolls Maier has piled all her life up.
Discreet woman, this children’s governess enjoys walking around the city, with her camera. She sees in these places, often belonging to the working-class area, workers, buildings, urban life, a peculiar beauty she manages to convey through her photographs.
Her mother being French, Maier has also travelled to France a lot, and today, she has a magnificent collection of photographs. Portraits shot by the photographer, pictures taken unposed, landscapes holding a thousand and one sources of interest show a raw and incredible eye and talent.
And yet, Maier has spent her entire life in the shadow. Even though her relatives were highly aware of her interest in photograph, her know-how has stayed unnoticed until 2007, two years before her death. This very year, Maier is hospitalized. As she cannot pay for the rent fees of the place, she stocks her pictures in anymore, she must sell some of her belongings. Three men buy her items and end up discovering a genuine treasure: publishing pictures on the Internet, they are the very people who will make of Vivian a photograph star. Since then, many novels, documentaries, articles, and exhibitions have been made in her honor. An extraordinary story, at the image of the artist’s talent.
The Musée du Luxembourg exhibition offers us to enjoy never-before-seen archives, new scientific analyses about the creations of this artist, vintage photographs developed by Maier, never edited super 8 movies, audio recordings, and even some of her cameras, and one of her iconic hats, and many elements showing Maier as a photographer with an undeniable influence, as well as a woman who has had a major impact on the people, she shared her life with.
If you have not heard about her yet, be happy: you are about to discover an incredible artist and her work. if you already knew who Vivian Maier was, no need to convince you. We know you have already booked a ticket for the exhibition at the Musée du Luxembourg!
Dates and Opening Time
From 15 September 2021 to 16 January 2022
Musée du Luxembourg
19, rue de Vaugirard
75006 Paris 6
RER B station "Luxembourg", ligne 4 station "Saint-Sulpice", ligne 12 station "Rennes"