Helen Levitt (1919-2009)

Helen Levitt, who died in her sleep at her Manhattan home on Sunday 29 March, age 95, was truly one of the finest photographers of the twentieth century. She photographed on the streets of New York where she was born for over 70 years, becoming very much a photographer’s photographer. Although she lacked the public profile of Henri Cartier-Bresson, she was a photographer very much in the same mould, but perhaps more lyrical, and the best of her work certainly ranked with his.

Inspired by the work of H C-B and Walker Evans, she bought a Leica in 1936 and began taking pictures, getting her first solo show at MoMA in 1943. You can read more about her in the piece I wrote in October 2007,  Helen Levitt – Street Colour and another post the following month after visiting her show at the  Fondation Cartier-Bresson in Paris.

Also on >Re:PHOTO is John Benton Harris‘s review of a show by her and Henri Cartier-Bresson last year in New York, Kings of the Street.

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