Vivian Maier, recently discovered street photographer OCT 14 2009
Vivian Maier was a street photographer from the 1950s-70s in Chicago whose extensive body of work (40,000 negatives) was recently discovered at an auction. This blog is presenting that work to the public for (I think) the first time.
Update: Blake Andrews discusses some other photographers who came late to the public eye.
The other X factor in recognition is a curatorial champion. Bellocq had Friedlander. Atget had Abbot. Disfarmer had Miller. Without their discoverers, these photographers might still be anonymous. For Maier it's been John Maloof. An interesting mental experiment is to wonder what would've happened had Maier posted her own photos on a blog while still alive. Would they have the same impact? Or would they just be another series of old images from some self-promoting has-been?