Developing the Story of the Photographer Nanny

It was a story that captured the attention of the public and art critics worldwide: A treasure trove of exceptional photographs was discovered after a storage locker auction in 2007. The then unknown photographer? Vivian Maier, a woman who worked her whole life as a nanny. Even after two documentaries were made about Vivian–one of which, “Finding Vivian Maier,” was nominated for an Oscar–many questions remained about her life and art. After watching “Finding Vivian Maier,” retired executive Ann Marks spent years trying to answer those questions, becoming one of the few people who have seen all of Vivian’s personal records and the complete archive of her 140,000 images. That material, along with countless interviews and other research, became the basis for Vivian Maier Developed: The Untold Story of the Photographer Nanny, a gorgeous book replete with Vivian’s photographs and telling details from Vivian’s life. In this week’s episode of Book Dreams, Ann talks with Julie and Eve about everything from the moment that Vivian’s photographs were discovered, to her astonishing talent and some of the reasons it remained hidden from the public for as long as it did, to the dysfunction in her family that contributed to the mystery surrounding her.


Ann Marks spent thirty years as a senior executive in large corporations and served as Chief Marketing Officer of Dow Jones/The Wall Street Journal. She is now an internationally renowned resource on Vivian Maier’s life and work. Her research has been featured in major media outlets, including the Chicago Tribune, The New York Times, and the Associated Press.




Vivian Maier Developed: The Untold Story of the Photographer Nanny


"A gorgeous artifact that deepens our understanding of the mystery and then methodically unravels it. Far and away the most complete picture we have of the photographer to date." —The Wall Street Journal


"Vivian Maier Developed is a thorough, fascinating overview of an artist working for art's sake. Marks tells Maier’s life with the intimacy of a scrapbook. Her selection of photographs, artifacts, and documents is judicious and satisfying.” —The New York Times


Go Deeper


Ann Marks

Vivian Maier Developed: The Untold Story of the Photographer Nanny, by Ann Marks

Vivian Maier

Finding Vivian Maier (2013 Documentary)

John Maloof, Hardcore Street Photography (Flickr)

Eve Yohalem

Julie Sternberg

Book Dreams Podcast

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