New York

  • Helen Levitt, New York, ca. 1942, printed later, gelatin silver print, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Museum purchase, 1984.16.4, © 1981, Helen Levitt

Caught before they run off into the streets, three masked youngsters pause on their front stoop. Expressive postures and mysterious disguises give this trio a theatrical quality. Helen Levitt, who found poetry in the uninhibited gestures of children, used a right-angle viewfinder to capture boys and girls roaming freely and playing with found objects. Working in New York City during the years surrounding World War II, her photographs show the drama of life that unfolded on the sidewalks of poor and working-class neighborhoods.

A Democracy of Images: Photographs from the Smithsonian American Art Museum, 2013
New York
ca. 1942, printed later
Not on view
image: 7 1810 12 in. (18.126.6 cm.)
Credit Line

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Museum purchase

Mediums Description
gelatin silver print
  • Architecture Exterior – detail – door
  • Dress – costume – mask
  • Children
  • Recreation – dress up – children
  • Cityscape – New York – New York
Object Number
Linked Open Data
Linked Open Data URI

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