In 2007, Chicago Realtor John Maloof paid $400 at an auction for a storage locker filled with rolls of undeveloped film. He was searching for photos for a book project about his Chicago neighborhood of Portage Park. In a moment straight out of an episode of "Auction Hunters," Maloof discovered a treasure-trove of thousands of negatives that turned out to be from a nanny who took up street photography in her spare time yet kept most of her work hidden. The photographer was Vivian Maier.

After scanning a few of the images Maloof quickly realized he stumbled onto something remarkable. He created a blog seeking expert opinion and feedback on her photos. Immediately hundreds of positive responses poured in with book and exhibition offers. Comparisons were made to Walker Evans and Henri Cartier-Bresson. Her black-and-white photos, taken primarily from the 1950s through the 1970s, depict ordinary people, street life and architecture of New York, Chicago and Los Angeles. Read the full article