For every artist who achieved fame in their lifetime, there were countless others who weren't successful and didn't receive the full attention they deserved until after their deaths. This page illustrates five now world-renowned artists who either struggled mightily in their lifetimes to have their visions appreciated or chose to keep their work private while they were alive.
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OPENING OF THE FIFTH SEAL El Greco c.1614
EL GRECO 1541--1641
Like Vermeer, Piero della Francesca, and Botticelli, El Greco was rescued from obscurity by an avid group of nineteenth-century collectors, critics, and artists and became one of the select members of the modern pantheon of great painters. For Picasso, as for so many later admirers, El Greco was both the quintessential Spaniard and a proto-modern—a painter of the spirit.
El Greco, born as Doménikos Theotokópoulos, (born 1541, Iráklion, Crete—died April 7, 1614, Toledo, Spain), master of Spanish painting, whose highly individual dramatic and expressionistic style met with the puzzlement of his contemporaries but gained newfound appreciation in the 20th century.
Early Years: Venice and Rome
El Greco was born Domenikos Theotokopoulos on the island of Crete, which was at the time a Venetian possession. Around age 20, somewhere between 1560 and 1565, El Greco (which means “The Greek”) went to Venice to study and found himself under the tutelage of Titian, the greatest painter of the time. Under Titian, El Greco began mastering the fundamental aspects of Renaissance painting—e.g., perspective, constructing figures, and staging detailed narrative scenes (a prime example of his work from this period is The Miracle of Christ Healing the Blind). El Greco moved to Rome from Venice after a time, remaining from 1570 to 1576, staying initially in the palace of Cardinal Alessandro Farnese, one of the most influential and wealthy individuals in Rome. In 1572, El Greco joined the painters’ academy and established a studio, but success would prove elusive (El Greco had criticized Michelangelo’s artistic abilities, which likely led to him being ostracized by the Roman art establishment), and he left Rome for Spain in 1576.
Finding a Foothold: Toledo, Spain
In Madrid, El Greco tried to secure royal patronage from King Philip II, but to no avail, so he moved on to Toledo, where he finally began to find the success history would remember and where he would paint his masterpieces. In Toledo, El Greco met Diego de Castilla, the dean of the Toledo Cathedral, who commissioned El Greco to paint a group of works for the altar of the church of Santo Domingo el Antiguo (such as The Trinity and The Assumption of the Virgin, both 1579). Castilla also facilitated the commission of The Disrobing of Christ (1579), and these paintings would become some of El Greco’s most accomplished masterworks. (Unfortunately, the price El Greco demanded for The Disrobing of Christ led to a dispute, and he never received another comparable commission from Castilla again.)
Regardless of where commissions now came from, El Greco embarked on a successful career in Toledo and produced such landmark works as St. Sebastian (1578), St. Peter in Tears (1582) and The Burial of Count Orgaz (1588). The Burial of Count Orgaz, especially, encapsulates El Greco’s art in that it depicts a visionary experience, transcending the known and revealing that which exists in the spiritual imagination. One of El Greco’s most celebrated works, it features a dichotomy of heaven and earth, the burial and the spiritual world waiting above, and it took his artistic vision beyond what he had previously been able to accomplish. Another notable work from this period is View of Toledo (1597), which is considered the first landscape in Spanish art. It is also is one of the only, if not the only, surviving landscape done by El Greco, who rarely strayed from religious subjects and portraits.
Later Years and Legacy
El Greco’s later works are marked by exaggerated, and often distorted, figures, stretching beyond the realities of the human body (which is what modern viewers generally have found so appealing). Among them are The Adoration of the Shepherds (1599), Concert of Angels (1610), and The Opening of the Fifth Seal (completed in 1614). The Fifth Seal in particular went on to spark great debate, as it has been suggested that it was an influence on Picasso’s Les Demoiselles d'Avignon, often considered the first cubist painting. El Greco’s effect on Picasso’s evolution is just one thread of his influence. The twisting figures and brash, unreal colors that form the very foundation of El Greco’s art influenced scores of artists, from the cubists following Picasso to the German expressionists to the abstract impressionists after them. His work also inspired those outside the realm of painting, such as writers Rainer Maria Rilke and Nikos Kazantzakis. El Greco died on April 7, 1614, unappreciated in his time, with the art world waiting 250 years before embracing his status as a master.
Madonna and Child with Saint Martina and Saint Agnes (1597-99)
The Adoration of the Shepherds (1612-14)
THE ASTRONOMER Vermeer c.1668
JOHANNES VERMEER 1632--1675
Johannes Vermeer specialized in domestic interior scenes of middle-class life. Vermeer worked slowly and with great care, and frequently used very expensive pigments. He is particularly renowned for his masterly treatment and use of light in his work. Vermeer painted mostly domestic interior scenes. He was recognized during his lifetime in Delft and The Hague, but his modest celebrity gave way to obscurity after his death and was omitted from surveys of Dutch art for nearly two centuries. In the 19th century, Vermeer was rediscovered by Gustav Friedrich Waagen and Théophile Thoré-Bürger, who published an essay attributing 66 pictures to him, although only 34 paintings are universally attributed to him today. Since that time, Vermeer's reputation has grown, and he is now acknowledged as one of the greatest painters of the Dutch Golden Age. Like some major Dutch Golden Age artists such as Frans Hals and Rembrandt, Vermeer never went abroad. And like Rembrandt, he was an avid art collector and dealer.
HIGHLY RECOMMENDED: 2014 Documentary "Tim's Vermeer." Available on Amazon Prime.
THE GIRL WITH THE PEARL EARRING Vermeer 1665
WOMAN WITH WATER JUG Vermeer c. 1660--1662
Jan (Johannes) Vermeer was born in Delft, Netherlands, circa October 31, 1632. Though he is now regarded as one of the greatest Dutch artists of all time, much of his life remains a mystery. His father, Reynier, came from a family of craftsmen in the town of Delft, and his mother, Digna, had a Flemish background. After his baptismal record at a local church, Vermeer seems to disappear for nearly 20 years. He likely had a Calvinist upbringing. His father worked as a tavern keeper and an art merchant, and Vermeer inherited both of these business upon his father's death in 1652. The following year, Vermeer married Catherina Bolnes. Bolnes was Catholic, and Vermeer converted to her faith. The couple moved in with her mother, and would eventually have 11 children together.
In 1653, Jan Vermeer registered with the Delft Guild as a master painter. There's no record of who he may have apprenticed under, or whether he studied locally or abroad. Vermeer definitely had at least a friendship with leading Delft painter Leonard Bramer, who became one of his early supporters. Some experts also believe that Vermeer may have been influenced by the works of Rembrandt through one of Rembrandt's students, Carel Fabritius. The influence of Caravaggio is apparent in Vermeer's early works, including "The Procuress" (1656). The painter also explored mythology in "Diana and Her Companions" (1655-56) and religion in "Christ in the House of Mary and Martha" (c. 1655). By the end of the decade, Vermeer's unique style began to emerge. Many of Vermeer's masterworks focus on domestic scenes, including "The Milkmaid" (c. 1657-58). This depiction of a woman in the midst of her work showcases two of his trademarks: his realistic renderings of figures and objects, and his fascination with light. Many of his works have a luminous quality, including the portrait "Girl with a Pearl Earring" (1665). Vermeer enjoyed some success in Delft, selling his works to a small number of local collectors. He also served as head of the local artistic guild for a time. However, Vermeer was not well-known outside of his community during his lifetime.
Final Years and Legacy
Jan Vermeer struggled financially in his final years, due in large part to the fact that the Dutch economy had suffered terribly after the country was invaded by France in 1672. Vermeer was deeply indebted by the time of his death; he died in Delft circa December 16, 1675. Since his passing, Vermeer has become a world-renowned artist, and his works have been hung in many prominent museums around the globe. Despite how much he is admired today, Vermeer left behind a small legacy in terms of actual works—approximately 36 paintings have been officially attributed to the painter.
Paul Gauguin was a French post-Impressionist artist. Unappreciated until after his death, Gauguin is now recognized for his experimental use of color and Synthetist style that were distinctly different from Impressionism. Toward the end of his life, he spent ten years in French Polynesia, and most of his paintings from this time depict people or landscapes from that region. His work was influential to the French avant-garde and many modern artists, such as Pablo Picasso and Henri Matisse. Gauguin's art became popular after his death, partially from the efforts of art dealer Ambroise Vollard, who organized exhibitions of his work late in his career and assisted in organizing two important posthumous exhibitions in Paris. Gauguin was a painter, sculptor, printmaker, ceramist, and writer. He was also an influential proponent of wood engraving and woodcuts as art forms.
French post-Impressionist artist Paul Gauguin (1848–1903) was an important figure in the Symbolist art movement of the early 1900s. His use of bold colors, exaggerated body proportions and stark contrasts in his paintings set him apart from his contemporaries, helping to pave the way for the Primitivism art movement. Gauguin often sought exotic environments, and spent time living and painting in Tahiti.
Paul Gauguin, born in Paris on June 7, 1848, created his own unique painting style, much like he crafted his own distinctive path through life. Known for bold colors, simplified forms and strong lines, he didn't have any formal art training. Gauguin instead followed his own vision, abandoning both his family and artistic conventions. Gauguin was born in Paris, but his family moved to Peru when he was a young child. His journalist father died on the journey to South America. Eventually returning to France, Gauguin took to the seas as a merchant marine. He was also in the French Navy for a time, and then worked as a stockbroker. In 1873, he married a Danish woman named Mette Gad. The couple eventually had five children together.
Gauguin began painting in his spare time, but quickly became serious about his “hobby.” One of his works was accepted into the Salon of 1876, an important art show in Paris. Gauguin met artist Camille Pissarro around this time, and his work attracted the interest of the Impressionists. The Impressionists were a group of revolutionary artists who challenged traditional methods and subjects and had been largely rejected by the French art establishment. Gauguin was invited to show at the group's fourth exhibition in 1879, and his work appeared among the works of Pissarro, Edgar Degas, Claude Monet, and other artistic greats. By 1883, Gauguin had stopped working as a stockbroker so that he could fully devote himself to his art. He also soon parted ways from his wife and children, and eventually went to Brittany, France. In 1888, Gauguin created one of his most famous paintings, "Vision of the Sermon." The boldly colored work showed the Biblical tale of Jacob wrestling with the angel. The following year, Gauguin painted "The Yellow Christ," a striking portrayal of the crucifixion of Jesus. Gauguin was one of the art world's more colorful characters. He referred to himself as a savage and claimed to have Inca blood. Fond of alcohol and carousing, Gauguin eventually contracted syphilis. He was friends with fellow artist Vincent van Gogh. In 1888, Gauguin and van Gogh spent several weeks together at van Gogh's home in Arles, but their time together ended after van Gogh pulled a razor on Gauguin during an argument. That same year, Gaugin produced the now-famous oil painting "Vision After the Sermon."
Artist in Exile
In 1891, Gauguin sought to escape the constructions of European society, and he thought that Tahiti might offer him some type of personal and creative freedom. Upon moving to Tahiti, Gauguin was disappointed to find that French colonial authorities had westernized much of the island, so he chose to settle among the native peoples, and away from the Europeans living in the capital. Around this time, Gauguin borrowed from the native culture, as well as his own, to create new, innovative works. In "La Orana Maria," he transformed the Christian figures of the Virgin Mary and Jesus into a Tahitian mother and child. Gauguin made many other works during this time, including a carved sculpture called "Oviri"—a word that originated from the Tahitian word for "savage," although, according to Gauguin, the sculpted female figure was actually a portrayal of a goddess. Known to have a predilection for young girls, Gauguin became involved with a 13-year-old Tahitian girl, who served as a model for several of his paintings. In 1893, Gauguin returned to France to show some off his Tahitian pieces. The response to his artwork was mixed, and he failed to sell much. Critics and art buyers didn't know what to make of his primitivist style. Before long, Gauguin returned to French Polynesia. He continued to paint during this time, creating one of his later masterpieces—"Where Do We Come From? What Are We? Where Are We Going?"--after a failed suicide attempt. The 5-foot by 12-foot painting is Gauguin's depiction of the human life cycle. In 1901, Gauguin moved to the more remote Marquesas Islands. By this time, his health had been declining; he had experienced several heart attacks, and continued to suffer from his advancing case of syphilis. On May 3, 1903, Gauguin died at his isolated island home, alone. He was nearly out of money at the time—it wasn't until after his death that Gauguin's art began receiving great acclaim, eventually influencing the likes of Pablo Picasso and Henri Matisse.
Vincent van Gogh, the eldest son of a Dutch Reformed minister and a bookseller’s daughter, pursued various vocations, including that of an art dealer and clergyman, before deciding to become an artist at the age of twenty-seven. Over the course of his decade-long career (1880–90), he created about 2,100 artworks, including around 860 oil paintings, most of them in the last two years of his life. They include landscapes, still-lifes, portraits and self-portraits, and are characterized by bold colors and dramatic, impulsive, and expressive brushwork that contributed to the foundations of modern art. He was not commercially successful, and his suicide at 37 followed years of mental illness and poverty.
Vincent Willem van Gogh (March 30, 1853 to July 29, 1890) was a post-Impressionist painter whose work - notable for its beauty, emotion and color - highly influenced 20th-century art. He struggled with mental illness, and remained poor and virtually unknown throughout his life. Vincent van Gogh completed more than 2,100 works, consisting of 860 oil paintings and more than 1,300 watercolors, drawings and sketches. Several of his paintings now rank among the most expensive in the world; "Irises" sold for a record $53.9 million, and his "Portrait of Dr. Gachet" sold for $82.5 million.
Vincent van Gogh’s father, Theodorus van Gogh, was an austere country minister, and his mother, Anna Cornelia Carbentus, was a moody artist whose love of nature, drawing and watercolors was transferred to her son. Van Gogh was born exactly one year after his parents' first son, also named Vincent, was stillborn. At a young age — his name and birthdate already etched on his dead brother's headstone — van Gogh was melancholy. The eldest of six living children, van Gogh had two younger brothers (Theo, who worked as an art dealer and supported his older brother’s art, and Cor) and three younger sisters (Anna, Elizabeth and Willemien). Theo van Gogh would play an important role in his older brother's life as a confidant, supporter, and art dealer.
Early Life and Education
At age 15, van Gogh's family was struggling financially, and he was forced to leave school and go to work. He got a job at his Uncle Cornelis' art dealership, Goupil & Co., a firm of art dealers in The Hague. By this time, van Gogh was fluent in French, German, and English, as well as his native Dutch. In June of 1873, van Gogh was transferred to the Groupil Gallery in London. There, he fell in love with English culture. He visited art galleries in his spare time, and also became a fan of the writings of Charles Dickens and George Eliot. He also fell in love with his landlady's daughter, Eugenie Loyer. When she rejected his marriage proposal, van Gogh suffered a breakdown. He threw away all his books except for the Bible, and devoted his life to God. He became angry with people at work, telling customers not to buy the "worthless art," and was eventually fired. Van Gogh then taught in a Methodist boys' school, and also preached to the congregation. Although raised in a religious family, it wasn't until this time that he seriously began to consider devoting his life to the church. Hoping to become a minister, he prepared to take the entrance exam to the School of Theology in Amsterdam. After a year of studying diligently, he refused to take the Latin exams, calling Latin a "dead language" of poor people, and was subsequently denied entrance. The same thing happened at the Church of Belgium: In the winter of 1878, van Gogh volunteered to move to an impoverished coal mine in the south of Belgium, a place where preachers were usually sent as punishment. He preached and ministered to the sick, and also drew pictures of the miners and their families, who called him "Christ of the Coal Mines." The evangelical committees were not as pleased. They disagreed with van Gogh's lifestyle, which had begun to take on a tone of martyrdom. They refused to renew van Gogh's contract, and he was forced to find another occupation.
Van Gogh’s Love Life
Van Gogh had a catastrophic love life. He was attracted to women in trouble, thinking he could help them. When he fell in love with his recently widowed cousin, Kate, she was repulsed and fled to her home in Amsterdam. Van Gogh then moved to The Hague and fell in love with Clasina Maria Hoornik, an alcoholic prostitute. She became his companion, mistress and model. When Hoornik went back to prostitution, van Gogh became utterly depressed. In 1882, his family threatened to cut off his money unless he left Hoornik and The Hague. Van Gogh left in mid-September of that year to travel to Drenthe, a somewhat desolate district in the Netherlands. For the next six weeks, he lived a nomadic life, moving throughout the region while drawing and painting the landscape and its people.
Van Gogh's Art
In the fall of 1880, van Gogh decided to move to Brussels and become an artist. Though he had no formal art training, his brother Theo offered to support van Gogh financially. He began taking lessons on his own, studying books like Travaux des champs by Jean-François Millet and Cours de dessin by Charles Bargue. Van Gogh's art helped him stay emotionally balanced. In 1885, he began work on what is considered to be his first masterpiece, "Potato Eaters." Theo, who by this time lived in Paris, believed the painting would not be well-received in the French capital, where Impressionism had become the trend. Nevertheless, van Gogh decided to move to Paris, and showed up at Theo's house uninvited. In March 1886, Theo welcomed his brother into his small apartment. In Paris, van Gogh first saw Impressionist art, and he was inspired by the color and light. He began studying with Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Camille Pissarro, and others. To save money, he and his friends posed for each other instead of hiring models. Van Gogh was passionate, and he argued with other painters about their works, alienating those who became tired of his bickering.
Van Gogh became influenced by Japanese art and began studying Eastern philosophy to enhance his art and life. He dreamed of traveling there but was told by Toulouse-Lautrec that the light in the village of Arles was just like the light in Japan. As a result, in February 1888, van Gogh boarded a train to the south of France. He moved into a now-famous "yellow house" and spent his money on paint rather than food.
Van Gogh's Ear
In December 1888, van Gogh was living on coffee, bread, and absinthe in Arles, France, and he found himself feeling sick and strange. Before long, it became apparent that in addition to suffering from physical illness, his psychological health was declining. Around this time, he is known to have sipped on turpentine and eaten paint. His brother Theo was worried, and he offered Paul Gauguin money to go watch over Vincent in Arles. Within a month, van Gogh and Gauguin were arguing constantly, and one night, Gauguin walked out. Van Gogh followed him, and when Gauguin turned around, he saw van Gogh holding a razor in his hand. Hours later, van Gogh went to the local brothel and paid for a prostitute named Rachel. With blood pouring from his hand, he offered her his ear, asking her to "keep this object carefully." The police found van Gogh in his room the next morning, and admitted him to the Hôtel-Dieu hospital. Theo arrived on Christmas Day to see van Gogh, who was weak from blood loss and having violent seizures. The doctors assured Theo that his brother would live and would be taken good care of, and on January 7, 1889, van Gogh was released from the hospital. He remained, however, alone and depressed. For hope, he turned to painting and nature, but could not find peace and was hospitalized again. He would paint at the yellow house during the day and return to the hospital at night. In “Van Goghs Ohr: Paul Gauguin und der Pakt des Schweigens” (“Van Gogh’s Ear: Paul Gauguin and the Pact of Silence”), art historians Hans Kaufmann and Rita Wildegans argue that it was Gauguin who sliced off van Gogh’s ear, with a sword that he carried with him for self-defense, and that the two artists—out of shame on van Gogh’s part, guilt on Gauguin’s—decided to keep the truth to themselves.It’s tempting, and not altogether wrong, to dismiss the question as trivial, or beside the point. But ears do not haunt ages without reasons. It may be that there is a true parable of modern art in the gruesome little story, different from both the old one and its revision. The Christmas crisis had a real, if buried, effect on van Gogh’s imagination, turning him from a dream of living and working with a community of brother artists to one of painting for an unknown audience that might someday appear—a fantasy that was, in the end, and against the odds, not a fantasy at all.
Van Gogh decided to move to the Saint-Paul-de-Mausole asylum in Saint-Rémy-de-Provence after the people of Arles signed a petition saying that he was dangerous. On May 8, 1889, he began painting in the hospital gardens. In November 1889, he was invited to exhibit his paintings in Brussels. He sent six paintings, including "Irises" and "Starry Night." On January 31, 1890, Theo and his wife, Johanna, gave birth to a boy and named him after van Gogh. Around this time, Theo sold van Gogh's "The Red Vineyards" painting for 400 francs. Also around this time, Dr. Paul Gachet, who lived in Auvers, about 20 miles north of Paris, agreed to take van Gogh as his patient. Van Gogh moved to Auvers and rented a room. But in July of that year, he committed suicide. Theo, who was suffering from syphilis and weakened by his brother's death, died six months after his brother in a Dutch asylum. He was buried in Utrecht, but in 1914 Theo's wife, Johanna, who was a dedicated supporter of van Gogh's works, had Theo's body reburied in the Auvers cemetery next to Vincent.
Theo's wife Johanna then collected as many of van Gogh's paintings as she could, but discovered that many had been destroyed or lost, as van Gogh's own mother having thrown away crates-full of his art. On March 17, 1901, 71 of van Gogh's paintings were displayed at a show in Paris, and his fame subsequently grew enormously. His mother lived long enough to see her son hailed as an artistic genius. Today, Vincent van Gogh is considered one of the greatest painters of the modern era.
Van Gogh Museum
In 1973, the Van Gogh Museum opened its doors in Amsterdam to make the works of Vincent van Gogh accessible to the public. The museum houses more than 200 van Gogh paintings, 500 drawings and 750 written documents including letters to Vincent’s brother Theo. It features self-portraits, “The Potato Eaters,” “The Bedroom” and “Sunflowers.”
Maier was an American street photographer. Maier worked for about forty years as a nanny, mostly in Chicago's North Shore, pursuing photography during her spare time. She took more than 150,000 photographs during her lifetime, primarily of the people and architecture of Chicago, New York City, and Los Angeles, although she also traveled and photographed worldwide. During her lifetime, Maier's photographs were unknown and unpublished; many of her negatives were never printed. A Chicago collector, John Maloof, acquired some of Maier's photos in 2007, while two other Chicago-based collectors, Ron Slattery and Randy Prow, also found some of Maier's prints and negatives in her boxes and suitcases around the same time. Maier's photographs were first published on the Internet in July 2008, by Slattery, but the work received little response. In October 2009, Maloof linked his blog to a selection of Maier's photographs on the image-sharing website Flickr, and the results went viral, with thousands of people expressing interest. Maier's work subsequently attracted critical acclaim, and since then, Maier's photographs have been exhibited around the world. Her life and work have been the subject of books and documentary films, including the film Finding Vivian Maier (2013), which was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature at the 87th Academy Awards.
Vivian Maier, (born February 1, 1926, Bronx, New York, U.S.—died April 20, 2009, Oak Park, Illinois), was an American amateur street photographer who lived her life in obscurity as a nanny and caregiver in the suburbs of Chicago while producing an expansive body of photographic work that became a media sensation in late 2010, nearly two years after her death. Discovered in 2007, a cache of Maier’s never-printed negatives, undeveloped rolls of film, and unedited movies fascinated the public as her story unfolded.
Maier was born in the United States to an Austrian father and a French mother. She spent much of her childhood in France and likely became interested in photography at an early age. Her first photos were taken in France in the late 1940s with a Kodak Brownie camera. She returned to the United States in 1951, first living in New York City and in 1956 moving near Chicago, where she spent the rest of her life. Maier moved to Highland Park, a northern suburb of Chicago, to accept a job as a nanny for the Gensburg family, with whom she stayed until the early 1970s. By the time she began traversing and photographing the streets of Chicago, she was using a Rolleiflex twin-lens reflex camera.
Maier photographed the urban human landscape over the course of three decades. Her preferred subjects were children, the poor, the marginalized, and the elderly, some of them aware of her and some not. She also made a number of self-portraits. She worked in a black-and-white documentary style until the early 1970s, when she took up colour and also began to adopt a more abstract approach.
Though contradictory biographical details appear in sources that tell her story, it is clear from interviews with her employers and their children that she was an intensely private person with few, if any, friends. She chose to keep her work to herself. In addition to her tens of thousands of photographic materials, Maier collected found objects throughout her life and saved an extraordinarily vast trove of belongings in the two storage lockers she rented. Those artifacts of her life were used to help reconstruct her biography.
In 2007 John Maloof, a real estate agent in Chicago, bought a box of undeveloped rolls of film and negatives for $400 at an auction house. The box was auctioned off as part of a group of items that had been collected from a storage unit sold for non-payment. Because the contents of the unit were split into several lots, Maier’s belongings were sold to more than one buyer. Three buyers in particular amassed the bulk of Maier’s work: Maloof, with about 100,000 negatives, more than 3,000 prints, hundreds of rolls of film, home movies, and audio interviews; Jeffrey Goldstein, with about 19,000 negatives, 1,000 prints, 30 homemade movies, and some slides; and Ron Slattery, who acquired more than 1,000 rolls of film at the auction. The privatization of her materials in this way raised legal, academic, and ethical questions about the posthumous use, profit from, and analysis of her work. Given that virtually none of the work by Maier that is being published and exhibited was processed or printed by the artist herself, one of the critical questions is of her personal aesthetic and artistic vision.
Maier is regarded by many to have had a highly skilled eye and an acute photographic sense. Critics have drawn comparisons between her work and that of 20th-century photographers such as Robert Frank, Garry Winogrand, and Diane Arbus. Exhibitions of the Maloof and Goldstein collections have traveled to cities throughout the United States and to Canada, China, and many European countries.