Skip to Main Content

Vivian Maier Developed

The Untold Story of the Photographer Nanny

The definitive and authorized biography that unlocks the remarkable story of Vivian Maier, the nanny who lived secretly as a world-class photographer, featuring nearly 400 of her images, many never seen before, placed for the first time in the context of her life.

Vivian Maier, the photographer nanny whose work was famously discovered in a Chicago storage locker, captured the imagination of the world with her masterful images and mysterious life. Before posthumously skyrocketing to global fame, she had so deeply buried her past that even the families she lived with knew little about her. No one could relay where she was born or raised, if she had parents or siblings, if she enjoyed personal relationships, why she took photographs and why she didn’t share them with others. Now, the full story of her extraordinary life is explored by the only person who has been given access to her personal records and archive of 140,000 photographs.

Based on meticulous investigative research, Vivian Maier Developed reveals the story of a woman who fled from a family with a hidden history of illegitimacy, bigamy, parental rejection, substance abuse, violence, and mental illness to live life on her own terms. Left with a limited ability to disclose feelings and form relationships, she expressed herself through photography, creating a secret portfolio of pictures teeming with emotion, authenticity, and humanity. With limitless resilience she knocked down every obstacle in her way, determined to improve her lot in life and that of others by tirelessly advocating for the rights of workers, women, African Americans, and Native Americans. No one knew that behind the detached veneer was a profoundly intelligent, empathetic, and inspired woman—a woman so creatively gifted that her body of work would become one of the greatest photographic discoveries of the century.

[no credit]

Ann Marks spent thirty years as a senior executive in large corporations and served as chief marketing officer of Dow Jones and The Wall Street Journal. After retirement, she put her research and analysis skills to use as an amateur genealogist and became inspired to unlock the mysterious life of photographer Vivian Maier. She is the only person in the world to examine Maier’s archive of 140,000 images and is now the go-to source for information related to the photographer’s life and work. Her research has been featured in major media outlets including the Chicago Tribune, The New York Times, the Associated Press, and more. Marks lives in Manhattan with her husband and three children.

“Ann Marks is the definitive expert on Vivian Maier. Where our documentary leaves off, she picks up. Through her meticulously organized and exhaustive research, Marks paints a complete historical profile of the photographer.”

– John Maloof, Director & Producer, Academy Award-nominated “Finding Vivian Maier”

“Working like a forensic detective, Ann Marks breathes life into the elusive Vivian Maier. Her biography brings forth a needed understanding of the artist and better appreciation of her art.”

– Jeffrey Goldstein, Original owner of partial Vivian Maier archive

“For anyone fascinated and curious about Vivian Maier, Ann Marks’ book is a must read. Her deep and thorough research yields a complete biography of this woman whose life has been shrouded in mystery.There is nothing else out there that speaks objective truth and foregoes conjecture like this work by Ms. Marks. I've learned more about Vivian Maier than I thought possible.”

– Howard Greenberg, Owner, Howard Greenberg Gallery