Many people know Vivian Maier as the reclusive Chicago nanny who wandered the city for decades, constantly snapping photographs, which were unseen until they were discovered in a seemingly abandoned storage locker. They revealed her to be an inadvertent master of twentieth-century American street photography, shooting her to stardom almost overnight. In this passionate and suprising biography, Pamela Bannos reveals that Maier was not a nanny who moonlighted as a photographer; she was a photographer who supported herself as a nanny. Bannos contrasts Maier's life with the mythology that strangers--mostly the men who have profited from her work--have created around her absence. Bannos uncovers new information about Maier's immediate family--relatives that once had been thought not to exist--and uncovers the real story of the visionary artist in this authoritative biography.
Pamela Bannos is an artist and researcher who has exhibited her work nationally and internationally, including in solo exhibitions at the Photographers' Gallery in London, England, and the Edwynn Houk Gallery in New York. Her research projects include an investigation of Chicago's Lincoln Park and the grounds of the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago. Bannos has taught photography in Northwestern University's Department of Art Theory and Practice since 1993.
Donna Seaman has degrees in the fine arts and English. Adult Books Editor for Booklist, she has written bio-critical essays for the Oxford Encyclopedia of American Literature and American Writers, and has published in TriQuarterly and Creative Nonfiction. Seaman's new book is Identity Unknown: Rediscovering Seven American Women Artists. She lives in Chicago