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Helen Levitt
Graffiti: Chalk Drawing of Figure with Double Pupils, New York City
ca. 1940
Gelatin silver print

7 7/8 x 5 3/8 inches
Purchase, The Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation Gift, through Joyce and Robert Menschel, 1987

Metropolitan Museum of Art

Excerpt from The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York:

Helen Levitt practiced photography with a small handheld camera on the streets of New York, making tender depictions of ordinary city people, especially children. The street was a stage upon which her young subjects played games, performed improvisational dramas, and made fantastic, untutored chalk drawings such as this figure with double pupils and a hovering crown. For Levitt, graffiti and childrens drawings were present-day emblems of a precivilized, magical art, both spontaneous and archetypal.

Related Exhibitions:

Few Are Chosen: Street Photography and the Book, 1936–1966
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
November 5, 2004–March 6, 2005

Helen Levitt
Walker Evans
Bill Brandt
Henri Cartier-Bresson
Robert Frank
William Klein


Additional Information

Helen Levitt: Selected Biographies on Art in Context

Helen Levitt: Related Links on Art in Context


Helen Levitt, American, (1913-2009)
b. August 31, 1913, Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, NY
d. 2009

Art in Context - Projects:
Art in Context - Art for the Day: August 31

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