Maier’s crisp black-and-white photographs capture a solemn Chicago: doyennes seemingly lost in an increasingly modern city; workaday folk walking and shopping beneath the script of neon; old men in shabby suits, hanging out on downtown street corners.

Via Lee Bey’s excellent Vocalo blog, do take a look at Vivian Maier—Her Discovered Work, a blog of street photography by a Rogers Park nanny, posted by John Maloof, who stumbled across her photographs at an estate sale and proceeded to unravel her mystery: “She was a Socialist, a Feminist, a movie critic, and a tell-it-like-it-is type of person. She learned English by going to theaters, which she loved. She wore a men’s jacket, men’s shoes and a large hat most of the time. She was constantly taking pictures, which she didn’t show anyone.”