Helen Levitt

Black-and-white photograph of a young woman looking at the camera seated in the lap of an older woman who is looking away.
New York, ca. 1942
gelatin silver print, 11 x 14 inches (sheet) [27.9 x 35.6 cm]

Helen Levitt began photographing New York City street scenes in the late 1930s. Her photographs capture the dynamism of the urban environment, with a specific eye to the unconsciously choreographed play-life of children. Levitt’s pictures address the interaction in the urban theatre, and in particular document the resourceful nature of children as they create entire worlds from simple materials and their imaginations. In the 1970’s Levitt began photographing in color and proved herself as a gifted color photographer. A Way of Seeing, Helen Levitt, Slide Show, and In the Street number among her monographs. Her work is held in the collections of the Art Institute of Chicago, Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Whitney Museum, among many others.

Color photograph of five young children on a city sidewalk before a graffitied storefront
New York, 1972
dye-transfer print, 15-7/8 x 19-7/8 inches (sheet) [40.3 x 50.5 cm]
Black-and-white photograph of a child in a makeshift costume and mask holding a large chef's knife.
New York, ca. 1939
gelatin silver print, 8-3/4 x 3-3/4 inches (sheet) [22.2 x 9.5 cm]
Black-and-white photograph of a man sitting on the front bumper of a vehicle with his arm raised
New York, ca. 1945
gelatin silver print, 11 x 14 inches (sheet) [27.9 x 36.5 cm]