Monday, April 6, 2009

Street Life

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxHELEN LEVITT Photographer
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxAugust 31, 1913- March 29, 2009

Helen Levitt, renowned photographer,
died at the at the age of 95. She was known
for her lyrical, dramatic and mysterious
photos of her native New York City streets.
She is remembered mostly for her photos of
children, in their street life, dancing and playing.
Her best known photo, Halloween /1939, showed
three children, in masks, setting off for their
The 1930's and 1940's produced her amazing body
of work showing the drama of street life. The
great photographer, Walker Evans, a giant of
photography, said that only Cartier-Bresson,
Helen Levitt, and himself, had anything original
to say.

Greatly influenced by Bresson and Evans,
she combined Bresson's gift for catching
everyday life, and Evan's direct, spare way
of seeing ordinary subjects.

Many books on her work are in print:
Here and There/ 2004
Slide Show/ 2005, featuring her color work.
And more recently:
Helen Levitt/ 2008



Butternut Squash said...

I love photographs. These are wonderful. I like the way that photos make you stop and really reflect on that moment in time. It might have been a moment that you would have just walked by and never have paid attention to. My little guy just started his own blog of photos around the farm. He's so excited, if you would like to see.

Tess Kincaid said...

I heard an interesting interview of her aired on NPR the day she died. I must look for more of her fabulous work!

Lyn said...


So true..It's not only the portrait, but what it says about the photographer, so much to see...
Will definitely check out Critters!
Thank you.

I never did hear her..would've loved to..Oh, she was such a pioneer!! Going over to B&N (really across the street!!) to check out her books.

Jeane Myers said...

she was a legend in her own time - making the ordinary, extraordinary!

Lyn said...

Yes! Art above all!! Vida breve. ars longo...

Raph G. Neckmann said...

I am not familiar with her work, Lyn - I shall have to find out more!

Lyn said...

Hi Raph-
Well worth looking into. She caught a lot of NYC history...

A Cuban In London said...

I found out about her death last week and I am sorry to saythat I did not know who she was. But since then I have been struck by her photographs. Plus the fact that I am a fan of black and white photography. Many thanks.

Greetings from London.

Lyn said...

Greetings to A Cuban-
I agree about black and white..a few years ago I was studying best time was in the darkroom developing, enlarging the pics..always exciting!

Linda S. Socha said...

Wonderful post Lyn...Your blog is looking wonderful! I love visiting here!. I love the Levitt photos. This is a great sampling. Janes Danziger's blog The Year in Pictures also has a great post of her photos...

Unknown said...

Hi Lyn,

Images of children just being themselves are always evocative and create nostalgia for times which were usually not as benign as we "remember".

Lyn said...

Thank you so much..I will look into "The Year..." That must be special.

Hi Derrick-
You are so right..much of her work was done during the Depression and World WarII..but the human spirit shines on!
Thank you.


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