Bulger Gallery Acquires Vivian Maier Collection

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Vivian Maier, Woman at the NY Public Library, still from John Maloof and Charlie Siskel’s film Finding Vivian MaierVivian Maier, Woman at the NY Public Library, still from John Maloof and Charlie Siskel’s film Finding Vivian Maier

In the latest development in the ongoing saga of the estate of photographer Vivian Maier, Hyperallergic has reported that collector Jeffrey Goldstein has sold the bulk of his Maier collection to Toronto’s Stephen Bulger Gallery. Goldstein sold some 17,500 black-and-white prints to Bulger, which the dealer estimates is 15 percent of the Vivian Maier collection.

Goldstein's sale was prompted by a recent development in the legal tangle surrounding Maier's estate, in which the Cook County (Illinois) public administrator challenged an arrangement between collector John Maloof, Goldstein, and the man they thought was Maier’s legal heir. Lawyer David Deal petitioned Cook County to recognize another man, a cousin of Maier's, as her rightful heir, but according to Hyperallergic, Cook County has determined that Maier’s rightful heir is her brother, Charles Maier, who could not be located and is presumed to be deceased. 

Cook County must now wait seven years to see if Charles Maier comes forward, and the county retains the copyright on Maier’s images. Anyone who wants to display or reproduce them must have approval first from the county, according to Hyperallergic, putting sales of the work on indefinite hold. For more information on the case, see Bulger's interview with StreetShootr.