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Tuesday, March 31, 2009

On the New York Streets, Then and Now

Midtown corner, NYC
Photo by myself in Midtown, around 5th Avenue and 54th Street.

The sidewalks were filled on Monday with visitors, vendors and all else.


Occasionally, I browse through the obituaries. That might sound a bit ghoulish, but really I enjoy reading the mini-biographies there. I'm drawn more to the twists and turns in peoples' lives than successes.

On Monday, the Times reported that Helen Levitt, a New York photographer, passed away at age 95. The bulk of her work included candid photography of street life and children, in New York.

Levitt was one of the first noted photographers to use color extensively. She associated with Walker Evans and Henri Cartier-Bresson. She had her first show at MoMA at age 30, yet is scarcely known by most people.

It's incredible to see the city streets in her images, taken in the 1930's and 1940's. Children of different races are shown playing on the asphalt together.

Helen Levitt died in her sleep this weekend, at her apartment in Greenwich Village.

Click here for Levitt's interview on NPR.
Click here for the Times obituary.
Click here for some of her photos.

Related posts: Taking a Glance at Columbus Circle, Decisions, Decisions and For the People.


valeria said...

Kitty, I have enjoyed the link to Helen Levitt's photos, enormously. It's such an inspiration... I ask myself HOW she did those candids, I mean, she must have walked with the camera on her face! Thank you for sharing Kitty.
Oh, I was forgetting. Your photo is really good!

Olivier said...

pour moi, cela sera un bretzel chaud avec une petite bouteille d'eau (pour pas mourir Ć©touffer ;o)) )
Encore une superbe photo b&w, j'adore

For me, this will be a hot pretzel with a small bottle of water (not to stifle die o))).Another superb photograph b&w, I love

Victor said...

A friend sent me the news about Ms. Levitt yesterday. Your image is a very nice tribute to her and her work. Cheers!

Ken Mac said...

thanks for that link and Leavitt info. I did not know her work: wonderful!

dianasfaria.com said...

This is funny in a weird way, I was just catching up with yesterday's paper this morning. When I read the Levitt article I was reminded of you & your portraits Kitty. Isn't it amazing how many wonderful artists there are in this world quietly pursuing their work? I guess we are lucky if we get to hear about a handful of them.

Terry at Blue Kitchen said...

I hadn't heard about Helen Levitt's death. Thanks, Kitty. What a perfectly New Yorker life she led!

SP said...

What a great post! Thanks so much for passing that on. I love the obituary columns for the same reason too, especially when you find lives like Helen's.
You take lovely pictures too!