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Vivian Maier: In Color

Vivian Maier took everyday moments and transformed them into something extraordinary. A discarded newspaper, a child resting her face in the sunlight of a ferry window, a scowling woman licking an ice cream cone outside a department store window―Maier’s photographs on the streets of Chicago and its suburbs encourage viewers to look beyond the ordinary.

Maier died before her life’s work was shared with the world. She left behind hundreds of prints, 100,000 negatives, and about a thousand rolls of undeveloped film, which were discovered when a collector purchased the contents of her storage lockers. There is no proof that she ever made a concerted effort to show her work to any dealers or other artists―gifting us the mystery of an elusive woman behind the camera.

Vivian Maier: In Color is a multimedia exhibition featuring 65 color images made during her time as a suburban Chicago nanny from the 1950s to 1970s, most of which have never been on display, as well as film clips, quotations, and sound bites.

© The Estate of Vivian Maier | View the collection

Member Event

Author Talk | The Life of Vivian Maier

Thursday, October 20, 12 p.m., 2 p.m., and 4 p.m.

CHM members and Historical Alliance are invited to join us at CHM for a special discussion with Ann Marks, who will offer a deeper understanding of Vivian Maier the person, her life history, and the context of her photographs. Marks is the author of Vivian Maier Developed: The Untold Story of the Photographer Nanny (2021), the definitive biography that unlocks the remarkable story of the nanny who lived secretly as a world-class photographer capturing images of everyday life in Chicagoland area. Talk runs one hour.

Bring your copy of Vivian Maier Developed for Ann Marks to sign! A copy can be purchased at the Museum Store prior to the event.

This free and exclusive event is for CHM members and Historical Alliance only. Not yet a member? It’s easy to join!

12 p.m. – SOLD OUT      2 p.m. – SOLD OUT


RSVP for 4 p.m.


In the News

Guest Curator

Frances Dorenbaum is a curator and art historian from Toronto who specializes in the history of photography. She holds a master of arts from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and has collaborated on exhibitions at the Art Institute of Chicago, Northwestern University’s Block Museum of Art in Evanston, Illinois, and the Morgan Library & Museum in New York, among others.

Processing of the Vivian Maier collection is generously supported by the Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation. Established in part by the Elizabeth Morse Charitable Trust and the Elizabeth Morse Genius Charitable Trust, the Exhibition Innovation Fund has provided funding for Vivian Maier: In Color.

The Details


Until January 02, 2023

Included in


Benjamin B. Green-Field Gallery

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