Vivian Maier Mural
Chicago, officially the City of Chicago, is the most populous city in the U.S. state of Illinois, and the third-most-populous city in the United States. With an estimated population of 2,705,994 (2018), it is also the most populous city in the Midwestern United States. Chicago is the county seat of Cook County, the second-most-populous county in the US, with a small portion of the northwest side of the city extending into DuPage County near O'Hare Airport. Chicago is the principal city of the Chicago metropolitan area, often referred to as Chicagoland. At nearly 10 million people, the metropolitan area is the third most populous in the United States.
Located on the shores of freshwater Lake Michigan, Chicago was incorporated as a city in 1837 near a portage between the Great Lakes and the Mississippi River watershed and grew rapidly in the mid-19th century. After the Great Chicago Fire of 1871, which destroyed several square miles and left more than 100,000 homeless, the city made a concerted effort to rebuild. The construction boom accelerated population growth throughout the following decades, and by 1900, less than 30 years after the great fire, Chicago was the fifth-largest city in the world. Chicago made noted contributions to urban planning and zoning standards, including new construction styles (including the Chicago School of architecture), the development of the City Beautiful Movement, and the steel-framed skyscraper.
Chicago is an international hub for finance, culture, commerce, industry, education, technology, telecommunications, and transportation. It is the site of the creation of the first standardized futures contracts, issued by the Chicago Board of Trade, which today is the largest and most diverse derivatives market in the world, generating 20% of all volume in commodities and financial futures alone. Depending on the particular year, the city's O'Hare International Airport is routinely ranked as the world's fifth or sixth busiest airport according to tracked data by the Airports Council International. The region also has the largest number of federal highways and is the nation's railroad hub. Chicago was listed as an alpha global city by the Globalization and World Cities Research Network, and it ranked seventh in the entire world in the 2017 Global Cities Index. The Chicago area has one of the highest gross domestic products (GDP) in the world, generating $689 billion in 2018. In addition, the city has one of the world's most diversified and balanced economies, with no single industry employing more than 14% of the workforce. Chicago is home to several Fortune 500 companies, including Allstate, Boeing, Caterpillar, Exelon, Kraft Heinz, McDonald's, Mondelez International, Sears, United Airlines Holdings, and Walgreens.
Chicago's 58 million domestic and international visitors in 2018 made it the second most visited city in the nation, as compared with New York City's 65 million visitors in 2018. The city was ranked first in the 2018 Time Out City Life Index, a global quality of life survey of 15,000 people in 32 cities. Landmarks in the city include Millennium Park, Navy Pier, the Magnificent Mile, the Art Institute of Chicago, Museum Campus, the Willis (Sears) Tower, Grant Park, the Museum of Science and Industry, and Lincoln Park Zoo. Chicago's culture includes the visual arts, literature, film, theatre, comedy (especially improvisational comedy), food, and music, particularly jazz, blues, soul, hip-hop, gospel, and electronic dance music including house music. Of the area's many colleges and universities, the University of Chicago, Northwestern University, and the University of Illinois at Chicago are classified as "highest research" doctoral universities. Chicago has professional sports teams in each of the major professional leagues, including two Major League Baseball teams.
Vivian Dorothy Maier (February 1, 1926 – April 21, 2009) was an American street photographer whose work was not discovered and recognized until after her death. She worked for about forty years as a nanny, mostly in Chicago's North Shore, while she pursued her photography. 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 premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival, and was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature at the 87th Academy Awards.
1651 W. North Ave.
Painted by Brazilian street artist Eduardo Kobra in 2017, this mural draws the eye with the combination of a black-and-white background and colorful subject. The portrait of the late Chicago photographer Vivian Maier spans the entire outside wall of a Wicker Park home. At first sight, it might seem relatively basic. But note Maier’s gaze and the shadow of someone behind her.