New York

Vivian Maier, Untitled, 1960–76, C-print, 3 1/8 × 4 3/4".

Vivian Maier

Howard Greenberg Gallery

Vivian Maier, Untitled, 1960–76, C-print, 3 1/8 × 4 3/4".

The recent exhibition of photographer Vivian Maier’s work was titled “In Her Own Hands”—exactly, at least on the surface, what the show was not. Maier (1926–2009) took tens of thousands of photographs while working as a nanny; she famously left behind a defaulted storage unit that included some prints and many more rolls of film that are now at the center of a debate between two different caretakers. Most of the works in this exhibition (dating from the early 1950s to the ’70s) have never before been shown and were printed last year, under the direction of John Maloof, by master printer Steve Rifkin. Maier’s photographs—their printing and dissemination—have not been in her own hands for some time.

Part of the attention around Maier’s estate is born of the romantic excitement of discovering a great photographer who lived anonymously among us for decades. Another is

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