Vivian Dorothea Maier (February 1, 1926 – April 21, 2009) was an American street photographer who was born in New York City and spent much of her childhood in France. After returning to the United States, she worked for approximately forty years as nanny in Chicago, Illinois. During those years, she took more than 150,000 photographs, primarily of people and architecture of New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, although she traveled and photographed worldwide.
Her photographs remained unknown and mostly undeveloped until they were discovered by a local Chicago historian and collector John Maloof in 2007. Following Maier’s death, her work began to receive critical acclaim. Her photographs have been exhibited throughout North America, Western Europe and Asia and featured in countless articles throughout the world. Her life and work have been the subject of several books and documentary films.