Art/ Collection/ Collection/ Art Object

New York

Artist:
Helen Levitt (American, 1913–2009)
Date:
1938
Medium:
Gelatin silver print
Dimensions:
13.6 x 19.3 cm (5 3/8 x 7 5/8 in.)
Classification:
Photographs
Credit Line:
Purchase, Lila Acheson Wallace Gift, and Gift of William and Mimi Levitt, by exchange, 1996
Accession Number:
1996.2.1
Rights and Reproduction:
© Estate of Helen Levitt
Not on view
An expert at capturing the enigmatic ballet of her neighborhood's myriad subcultures—the world of children, the coffee klatches of women on stoops, the gangs of young men lounging on the corners—Levitt was one of the more influential and elusive members of New York's community of postwar street photographers. This photograph demonstrates her eagle eye for everyday wit while at the same time alluding to the impenetrable escalation of secret maneuverings that would shortly subsume the city and the world in a devastating war.
Inscription: Signed in pencil, verso, BR: "Helen Levitt"; inscribed in pencil, verso, TR, C: "V130", "[star]"; inscribed in pencil on detached mount, recto, TR: "V130"; inscribed and signed in pencil on detached mount, verso, C: "Helen Levitt//ny CIRCA 1938"; inscribed in pencil on detached mount, verso, C, C, BR: "R303", "[encircled] STORAGE Best Vintage", "(12)//SL.2.92.1.43"
Helen Levitt

The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Johnson Gallery, Selections from the Collection 12," March 11, 1996–June 3, 1996.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Johnson Gallery, Selections from the Collection 51," May 12, 2009–August 30, 2009.

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