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The strange case of Vivian Maier
The strange case of Vivian Maier

The work of Vivian Maier reminds us of how close to the edge we are. For many years a nanny in New York and Chicago, she left an archive of something like 150,000 photographs when she died in 2009 at age 83, and has become an emblem of the hidden life, the native talent, the multitudes we all contain. That this story is both true and, in the most fundamental sense, constructed is entirely the point, for Maier’s photographs — street shots for the most part, of pedestrians, passers-by, urban settings — have become a mirror for our own experience rather than a manifestation of hers. In part, that has to do with the almost accidental nature of her discovery: two years...

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