Helen Levitt: Manhattan Transit



ISBN: 9783960981220 Category:

Thomas Zander


The most comprehensive publication of Helen Levitt’s photographs from the New York subway, many of which are published here for the first time.

Helen Levitt’s pictures haunt like an intimate ghost – ever present, never forceful, curious, and receptive. In 1938 Levitt accompanied Walker Evans on a number of trips when he photographed passengers on the New York subway and soon she was taking her own shots. More empathetic and informal with a camera, Levittʼs finest photographs came from being present to the world, allowing herself to be seen as a fellow citizen, not as a photographer setting herself apart. The disarming ease of Levittʼs pictures builds up, page after page, into an undeniably singular attitude to the medium and the world. It was around 1978 that Levitt made her return to the subway, a full four decades after that first foray. She seems to have picked up exactly where she had left off in 1938, but in general her photography was less restricted, more in keeping with her looser street photographs. By the 1970s, public behaviour on the subway was much less formal, there was ʻelbow roomʼ. This is the most comprehensive publication of Helen Levittʼs photographs from the New York subway, many of which are published here for the first time.

Additional information

Weight 594 g
Dimensions 21.6 x 24.7 cm
Publisher name Walther & Franz K├Ânig
Publication date 13 October 2017
Number of pages 82
Format Hardback
Dimensions 21.6 x 24.7 cm
Weight 594 g


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Born in Brooklyn in 1913, Helen Levitt 's photographs made on the streets of New York have inspired and amazed generations of photographers, collectors and curators. Helen Levitt's first major museum exhibition was at the Museum of Modern Art in 1943, and a second solo show was held there in 1974. Retrospectives of her work have been held at several museums including the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, International Center for Photography and the Centre National la Photographie in Paris.