Pictures by Women: A Celebration of Great Women Photographers

Ilse Bing, Self-Portrait in Mirrors , 1931

Helen Levitt, Trick-or-Treaters, 1939

Cindy Sherman, Untitled #92, 1981

Nan Goldin, Nan One Month After Being Battered, 1984

Nan Goldin, Nan and Brian in Bed, 1983

Katy Grannan, Nicole in Crissy Field Parking Lot, 2006

Elinor Carucci, My Children, @2003

Pictures by Women: A History of Modern Photography

Pictures by Women: A History of Modern Photography is an exhibition of photographs currently on view at New York City’s Museum of Modern Art. The exhibition presents a selection of outstanding photographs by women artists, charting the medium’s history from the dawn of the modern period to the present time. For much of photography’s 170-year history, women have expanded its roles by experimenting with every aspect of the medium. Including over two hundred works, this exhibition features celebrated masterworks and new acquisitions by such figures as Diane Arbus, Berenice Abbott, Claude Cahun, Imogen Cunningham, Rineke Dijkstra, Florence Henri, Roni Horn, Nan Goldin, Helen Levitt, Lisette Model, Lucia Moholy, Tina Modotti, Cindy Sherman, Kiki Smith, and Carrie Mae Weems, among many others.

Slide Show: Pictures by Women/A History of Modern Photography

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Helen Levitt, Photographer Who Captured Decades of New York Street Life, Died at at 95

Helen Levitt, Photographer Who Captured Decades of New York Street Life, Died at at 95

Helen Levitt Died at The Age of 95

Helen Levitt, a major street photographer of the 20th century who captured fleeting moments of quiet drama on the streets of her native New York for seven decades, died in New York City at the age of 95. Ms. Levitt’s photography displayed a form of street choreography that expressed the everyday ceremonies of innocence. The masterpieces in Ms. Levitt’s body of works are her photographs of children living their enthusiastically improvised lives.

Ms. Levitt was intensely private, shunned the spotlight and seldom gave interviews. Comprehensive surveys of her career were held at the Sidney Janis Gallery in New York in 1980 and later at the Laurence Miller Gallery in 1987. However, she remained relatively unknown to the general public even as late as 1991, when the first national retrospective of her work was organized by the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and traveled to major museums.

Helen Levitt: Seven Decades of New York Street Photography

Helen Levitt’s street photography from New York spanned seven decades, photographs that were taken mostly throughout working-class neighborhoods in New York City. Levitt’s wonderfully candid black-and-white shots from the 1930s and 1940s, of urban children playing and ordinary people going about their daily lives, have inspired generations of photographers. Levitt was also a pioneer in color photography, starting seriously in 1959, when she received a Guggenheim grant to explore her familiar territory, but shifting from black-and-white to color. Levitt went back out into the streets in the 1970s with her camera. Forty of her color photographs were shown as a slide show at the New York Museum of Modern Art in 1974, one of the very first times that photographs were formally displayed this way in a museum, and one of the first exhibitions of serious color photography anywhere in the world. That show was presented 31 years after her first solo exhibition at MoMA in 1943. Her work was also part of the famous Family of Man exhibition.

The acclaimed writer James Agee once said: “At least a dozen of Helen Levitt’s photographs seem to me as beautiful, perceptive, satisfying, and enduring as any lyrical work that I know. In their general quality and coherence, moreover, the photographs as a whole body, as a book, seem to me to combine into a unified view of the world, an uninsistent but irrefutable manifesto of a way of seeing, and in a gently and wholly unpretentious way, a major poetic work.”

Video: The Photography of Helen Levitt

Slide Show: Helen Levitt/Seven Decades of New York Street Photography

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Helen Levitt: Seven Decades of New York Street Photography

Helen Levitt’s street photography from New York spans seven decades, photographs taken mostly throughout working-class neighborhoods in New York.  Levitt’s wonderfully candid black-and-white shots from the 1930s and 1940s, of urban kids playing and ordinary people going about their lives, have inspired generations of photographers.

Levitt was a pioneer of color photography, starting seriously in 1959, when she received a Guggenheim grant to explore her familiar territory, but shifting from black-and-white to color.  Levitt went back out into the streets in the 1970s with her camera.  Forty of her color photographs were shown as a slide show at the New York Museum of Modern Art in 1974, one of the very first times that photographs were formally displayed this way in a museum, and one of the first exhibitions of serious color photography anywhere in the world.  That show was presented 31 years after her first solo exhibition at MoMA in 1943.  Her work was also part of the famous Family of Man exhibition.

The acclaimed writer James Agee once said: “At least a dozen of Helen Levitt’s photographs seem to me as beautiful, perceptive, satisfying, and enduring as any lyrical work that I know.  In their general quality and coherence, moreover, the photographs as a whole body, as a book, seem to me to combine into a unified view of the world, an uninsistent but irrefutable manifesto of a way of seeing, and in a gently and wholly unpretentious way, a major poetic work.”

Helen Levitt: Seven Decades of New York Street Photography

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