UPDATE: A recent article on The Online Photographer (A Clarification of the Vivian Maier Case) sheds more light on what’s going on here.
After a lifetime of taking photos this poor woman died in virtual poverty – unable to pay for the storage locker where these photographs were eventually found. It’s pretty clear that she didn’t want to share them with others or she would probably have done so during her lifetime. Then after her death the sharks start to circle. The “money grabbers” seem now to have reached a agreement to share the spoils – Hurray!
The messy legal battle surrounding the life’s work of nanny and amateur street photographer Vivian Maier may finally be coming to a close in less than a week.In case the legal snafu has gotten so complicated you simply stopped following it, here’s a not-so-quick refresher: in 2007, 26-year-old John Maloof bought a box of 30,000 negatives from an estate sale for $400; his collection later grew to over 100,000 images. These images—the life’s work of then-unknown amateur street photographer and nanny Vivian Maier—took the world by storm, being hailed by some as some of the greatest street photography of the 20th century.But not long after Maloof unveiled the collection and the story took on a life of its own, a legal battle began over who really owns the images and whether or not it was legal for Maloof to sell and publicize the images before he obtained the rights, which he later did from one of Maier’s first cousin once removed. There’s even a question of whether that cousin is the rightful heir to the Maier estate.