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Helen Levitt Hardcover – April 1, 2008

4.5 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"If ever anyone was born to be a photographer, Helen Levitt was."

About the Author

Helen Levitt (1913-2009) had her first solo exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, in 1943. Levitt’s photographs appeared in Edward Steichen’s landmark 1955 show The Family of Man and in more recent exhibitions of great importance, including MoMA’s Photography Until Now and the National Gallery of Art’s On the Art of Fixing a Shadow in Washington, D.C., both celebrating the invention of photography. She has been the subject of numerous retrospective exhibitions at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the International Center of Photography, New York; the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. Levitt’s reputation as New York City’s master street photographer was further cemented in 2001 when her photographs were featured in the opening sequence of Ken Burns’ acclaimed PBS documentary series, New York. The author of the critically acclaimed, best-selling monographs Crosstown, Here and There, and Slide Show (powerHouse Books, 2001, 2004, and 2005), Levitt lived and worked in New York City, naturally.

Walker Evans (1903-1975) is one of history’s most celebrated photographers. Best known for his Depression-era work for the Farm Security Administration, Evans is responsible for some of the most iconic images of the twentieth century, having created a documentary style whose influence continues to be felt. Born in 1903 in St. Louis, Missouri, he briefly studied literature before falling in with the New York art scene and taking up photography in the early 1930s. Over the next several decades he traveled across America on assignment and on his own, creating such venerated series as Let Us Now Praise Famous Men and Many Are Called (both of which were published alongside essays by James Agee). His work was widely exhibited, and he served on the staff of Time and Fortune as a photographer, writer, and editor. In 1965 he became a professor of Photography and Graphic Design at the Yale School of Art and Architecture, a position he maintained until his death in 1975.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 168 pages
  • Publisher: powerHouse Books; 1St Edition edition (April 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 157687429X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1576874295
  • Product Dimensions: 12.2 x 0.9 x 12.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #750,622 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Helen Levitt is deeply respected among photographers. Her work is collected by museums and
shown in galleries. I wish she were more widely known. Her street photographs of New York in
the '40's are pure art. She had an incredible eye, sense of humor and intuitive sense of the space
between the documenter and what is being documented. Her prints were created with great attention
to tones of black and white that enhance subject matter and never overwhelm it. This is a beautiful
collection. In a world now inundated with manipulated images, spend some time with this book and
appreciate this woman's genius for presenting a place in time with simplicity, directness and respect
for craft.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I love the photography of Helen Levitt. She captures everyday city life so precisely that it feels as though she's in your head. She finds all those amazing and mundane vignettes you fleetingly see daily on the streets of any city and she forever captures them in her lens and then on paper. Her photos show absolutes and contrasts - old - new, clean - dirty, happy - sad, young - old, and a million nuances of all things urban and alive. Looking at her pictures, you can almost hear the sounds, smell the odors and feel the air.

This book holds a large variety of her work spanning several decades, some in color, some black and white. It is printed on heavy, quality paper. Still, it isn't a complete collection and lacks some of my favorites, so I wish this were a series of books, so I could easily collect all her photographs without duplication, and so superbly done. The format is simple: It is a picture book without captions. A short forward hardly tells you anything about her, but it doesn't need to. You can spend the day in her picture city know her intimately through her photographs.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Well, if you're looking at this book, you probably know who Helen Levitt is and you can probably imagine the amazing photographs that are in this book.

Helen Levitt was one of the pioneers of street photography, a self taught photographer who eventually began working with Cartier-Bresson, another pioneer of street photography. Mind you, these two photographers represented REAL street photography, not the (pardon my language) crap we see today from the college kids running around with their $6,000 Leica that Mommy or Daddy bought them. Street photography, unfortunately, has become WAYYYYYYYY overdone and destroyed by people with no true "eye" for it. Now we just see photo after photo of homeless people, stray animals, homeless people with stray animals, etc. etc.

Anyway, sorry to get off topic a bit there. My point is, BUY THIS BOOK. This is REAL street photography where talent and hard work are demonstrated through these beautiful prints. And if you truly want to learn what real street photography is all about, this book is a great starting point.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I ordered 5 copies of this book! It was such a pleasure to see all the new images that have never been published. I love Evans forward (brief but articulate), and to see the genius of Levitt through the years makes this my favorite book to date in 2008! I couldn't recommend it more!
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