Helen Levitt (American, born 1913)
Gelatin silver print; 5 3/8 x 7 5/8 in. (13.6 x 19.3 cm)
Purchase, Lila Acheson Wallace Gift, and Gift of William and Mimi Levitt, by exchange, 1996 (1996.2.1)
© Helen Levitt, Courtesy Laurence Miller Gallery, New York
An expert at capturing the enigmatic ballet of her neighborhood's myriad subculturesthe world of children, the coffee klatches of women on stoops, the gangs of young men lounging on the cornersLevitt 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.