Just in case you're not aware, there are two major archives of the work of Vivian Maier [UPDATE: Wrong! See correction below], the reclusive Chicago nanny whose sprawling photographic remains were auctioned out of her storage locker even as she lay dying. One is controlled by John Maloof, the other by Jeffrey Goldstein. Don't ask me to deconstruct how that came about. But both archives have mounted shows; both have "official" websites; both have published books (Vivian Maier: Street Photographer is John's, and Vivian Maier: Out of the Shadows is Jeff's—or rather, it was drawn from Jeff's Maier archive, the book being the creation of Richard Cahan and Michael Williams); and both market Vivian Maier prints.
And both, unfortunately from my view, have been locked firmly into the "gallery model" of print distribution, whereby the volumes are kept low and the prices high, and neither one, it appears, can really adjust to comfortably fit the alternate model of a TOP Print Offer. I've tried. Well, sporadically. Just doesn't look like it's going to work. Seems kinda ironic, to me, but then, I have a distinct selfish interest in the matter. Both of these guys are working very hard (I mean that) to responsibly preserve this photographer's legacy, and they rightly get to decide what's best for her and for themselves.
However, if you should happen to want to give the gift of Vivian this Christmas or Hanukkah, you're in luck. Jeff Goldstein has produced a sumptuous and lovely custom-clamshell-encased deluxe edition of Out of the Shadows that includes the book and your choice of one of three original prints. Limited to a total of 165 copies (55 of each print). At $850 it's not cheap, but then, gift-giving is one circumstance in which it's rather bad form to cheap out. And, actually, it is the cheapest way (I think) to get an original silver-gelatin Vivian Maier print, at the present time.
Here's the link where you can go to buy the deluxe edition and, perhaps more interestingly, to see which three prints are being offered.
I have one of these chez TOP (albeit temporarily), and I can attest that it is a pleasing, solid little package. The craftsmanship of the clamshell is very good, and the presentation is excellent and elegant, even to the signature printed on the stoutly made outer cardboard box. I can't imagine anyone with an interest in Vivian Maier not being delighted to tear the wrapping off this.
Correction: Actually, I'm wrong. There are three major archives of Vivian's work—the one I left out is Ron Slattery, who was the first person to purchase her work at the storage auctions. This "Chicago Tonight" video will allow you to meet all three of the known current custodians of Vivian's work—John, Jeff, and Ron.
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Featured Comments from:
Pamela Bannos: "Hello—I am the person who responded to Stephen Daiter's comment in the first 'Chicago Tonight' program and am featured in the video link in this post. I've been teaching photography at Northwestern University for twenty years. My Vivian Maier research has continued since the TV program aired in August and I will be speaking more about the developing project soon."