Helen Levitt

Helen Levitt

1913 – 2009


Helen Levitt (1913-2009) began photographing street scenes in her native city of New York in the late 1930s. Her photographs capture the life of the urban setting and especially of the children playing in the streets. In the mid 1930s, Levitt met Henri Cartier-Bresson and Walker Evans and she helped Evans make prints for his famous show American Photographs in 1938. She showed him her early black and white photographs of children with their improvised games and chalk drawings and he described the lyrical style of her work as “anti-journalistic”. Helen Levitt took her camera to the city’s poorer neighborhoods, like Spanish Harlem and the Lower East Side, where people treated their streets as their living rooms and where she showed an unerring sense and empathy for the mystery and wry humor of everyday life.


  • Helen Levitt will be inducted into the International Photography Hall of Fame at a ceremony November 4th, 2022.

Image: HELEN LEVITT © Film Documents LLC, courtesy Galerie Thomas Zander, Cologne

Log Booms #1, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada, 2016


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