We’re an American family living just outside of Bitburg, in the scenic but often-damp Eifel countryside of far-western Germany. We got the crazy notion to buy a haus here, and even though it’s not the renovated barn/carriage house/crumbling country manor of our dreams, it’s pretty cool—when the plumbing and heating are working properly. When we aren’t traveling, we live a pretty quiet life. Stop by for frequent doses of Gemütlichkeit, which just basically means a sense of coziness and intimacy--and an unhurried pace to counter the frenetic nature of modern life. Doctor's orders! Oh, and a special hello to anyone visiting from the Spangdahlem Air Base community!
Do you know yet about Vivian Maier? I hadn't heard of her until a couple of weeks ago, but now I'm completely taken by her art and her story. Vivian Maier (1926-2009) was a "street photographer" who, as a hobby, took thousands of photos that she tucked away in obscurity for many years while she earned a living as a nanny and caregiver. Why would anyone take so many stunning, evocative photos and not want to share at least some of them with the world? The answer to this query remains mostly unknown.
Thankfully, John Maloof discovered her work by accident at a Chicago auction, and he, along with Jeff Goldstein and others, are now giving this enigmatic photographer her artistic due. Maier's unusual and eccentric life story--what we know of it--only enhances the mystery surrounding her work. The fact that she began living in Chicago in the 1950s, around the time my mother and her parents moved away from Chicago's South Side to New Orleans, makes Maier's urban artistry that much more interesting to me.
I hope you'll enjoy and appreciate the raw beauty that is apparent in her long-lost photographs.
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