Helen Levitt

Helen Levitt
Helen Levitt (b. 31 August 1913) is an American documentary photographer.
Levitt grew up in Brooklyn, New York. Dropping out of school, she taught
herself photography while working for a commercial photographer. While
teaching some classes in art to children in 1937, Levitt became intrigued with
the transitory chalk drawings that were part of the New York children's street
culture of the time. She purchased a Leica camera and began to photograph
these works as well as the children who made them. The resulting
photographs appeared, to great acclaim, in 1987 as In The Street: chalk
drawings and messages, New York City 1938–1948. Named as one of the "100
best photo-books", first-editions are now highly collectable.
She studied with Walker Evans during 1938 and 1939. In 1943 Edward
Steichen at the Museum of Modern Art curated her first solo exhibition, after
which she began to find press work as a documentary photographer. In the
early 1950s she briefly became a film director, working with James Agee. In
1959 and 1960, she received two Guggenheim Foundation grants to take
colour photographs on the streets of New York but much of this work was
stolen in a burglary. The remaining photos, and others taken in the following
years, can be seen in the book Slide Show: The Color Photographs of Helen
Levitt (May 2005). Her first major book was A Way of Seeing (1965). In 1976
she was a Photography Fellow of the National Endowment for the Arts.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia