CHICAGO — Thousands of prints from famed photographer Vivian Maier have been donated to the University of Chicago Library.
Many of the more than 2,700 prints have never been published or displayed before, according to the U of C Library. More than 1,400 are in color and 1,200 are in black and white, all of them showing Maier’s travels around Chicago and the rest of the world.
The prints were donated by John Maloof and they’ll be preserved and accessible to researchers. The donation means U of C Library has the largest collect of Maier photographs out of any public institution, according to the university.
Maloof donated nearly 500 of her prints to U of C in 2017.
The vintage prints, which range in size from 2-by-2.5 inches to 11-by-14 inches, include candids, landscapes and still life work. The donation also included seven still and three movie cameras from Maier, as well as lenses, attachments and more.
The prints from the donation were made by Maier herself or were ordered by her, which helps researchers see how “she evaluated and edited her own work,” said Daniel Meyer, director of the Special Collections Research Center, in a news release.
Maier is now regarded as a groundbreaking street photographer, though it wasn’t until after her death in 2009 that her images were shared and gained fame.
Maier was born in 1926 in New York City and spent much of her later life as a nanny to families along the North Shore. During her time off, she’d take photos of Chicago and its people.
Maloof started acquiring Maier’s work in 2007 when he bought her photos at an auction. After her death, he shared her photos online and they went viral.
Maier’s photos have now been displayed around the world.
Some of the donated prints: