Deeply Informative Levy Lecture Captivates Crowd

Updated: Jun 27, 2019

Pamela Bannos delivered a fascinating lecture on September 4 to a capacity crowd at the Levy Center based on her recent book, Vivian Maier: A Photographer’s Life and Afterlife.


Pamela Bannos delivered a fascinating lecture on September 4 to a capacity crowd at the Levy Center based on her recent book, Vivian Maier: A Photographer’s Life and Afterlife.

Bannos, a professor of photography in Northwestern’s department of art theory and practice, redeems Vivian Maier’s personal history. She cited evidence about how she has been misrepresented in recent accounts of her life. According to Bannos, Vivian Maier was “not a nanny who moonlighted as a photographer; she was a photographer who supported herself as a nanny.”

Maier was prolific in her work and pursued her avocation relentlessly. She traveled around the world – alone, as a single woman in the 1950s – photographing people, outdoor scenery, and street life for many years.

Bannos brought this intensely private woman to life in a way that differs sharply with the almost comical image of ‘nanny savant.’ The audience was spellbound as Bannos showed side-by-side comparisons of some of Maier’s photographs with current views (taken by Bannos) of the same scenes, one of the steps Bannos took in her research to document locations and Maier’s travels.

Audience members asked questions and shared personal recollections of conversations they had had with Maier from when she lived in Rogers Park. Howard and Judy Schneider, who have attended every Levy Lecture since the series started in 2017, were impressed with Bannos’ copious research and mastery of her subject. Howard observed that “the discussion was so interesting, no one wanted to leave! It was a fascinating afternoon.”

This article, written by LSCF board member Wendi Kromash, was originally published in the Evanston RoundTable. The Levy Senior Center Foundation organizes and supports the Levy Lecture Series thanks to the generosity of supporters like you.

#LevyLectureSeries #LevySeniorCenterFoundation #PamelaBannos #VivianMaier #NorthwesternUniversity

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