Milagros Caturla, the spanish Vivian Maier

In 2001 an american tourist from Seattle, Tom Sponheim, went to Barcelona with his wife. In a flea market next to La Sagrada Familia he found a stack of negatives on a table. Tom took a look at them and he saw that they were well exposed, so he bought the envelope with the film for 3.50 dollars. Once at home in the States, he tried to scan a random picture and it was a very good sample of street photography: a young girl behind a bench where two old ladies are talking. But Tom understood to be in front a master of photography when he found another amazing picture with three priests walking near the Cathedral.

In 2010 Tom created a Facebook Page and he reached a lot of people from Barcelona, really surprised to find their friends and relatives depicted in those pictures. But no one knew who was the author of the images. This year Begona Fernandez, an amateur photographer from Barcelona, decided to investigate in order to discover who was the mysterious photographer. After a long research, she found an old magazine with a picture already seen in the Tom’s page. The author was a woman, Milagros Caturla, 4th winner of a photography contest in 1961.

Milagros Caturla died in 2008, suffering from Alzheimer’s. She never got married and she never had children. She worked as administrative in Barcelona’s Regional Council. Lluis Caturla, Milagros’ nephew, said that she had a huge passion for photography and she also had a photo lab in her apartment in Barcelona. Now Begona want to tribute Milagros with an exhibition of her pictures: “We feel her as our Vivian Maier”.

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