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Old April 3rd, 2009, 12:51 PM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is offline
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Default Helen Levitt whose precise grasping of life in New York city made her famous, dies.

We regret to inform you of the passing of a great photographer of the humanity of New York.



Source Photo Helen Levitt

PDN reports:

Helen Levitt, whose precise, fly-on-the-wall shots of city life helped define the aesthetic of 20th-century documentary photography, died Sunday at age 95.

Her death was reported in The New York Times, which cited a family member.

Capturing scenes as ordinary as children playing, workers sitting on a tailgate, or pedestrians crossing a street, Levitt found poetry in the frozen moments of New York City street life.

Born in Brooklyn in 1913, Levitt began her long photography career working for a commercial photographer in the Bronx. Levitt decided to pursue photography of her own sort in the 1930s and would wander the city streets, observing families and neighbors crowded on stoops on hot summer evenings. She often photographed in Spanish Harlem.

“I decided I should take pictures of working class people and contribute to the movements, whatever movements there were—Socialism, Communism, whatever was happening,” Levitt said in a 2002 interview with NPR. “And then I saw pictures of Cartier-Bresson, and realized that photography could be an art, and that made me ambitious.”


Read more here and here.

Asher
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