From Crosstown: Photographs by Helen Levitt, Courtesy powerHouse Books
On my blog (in the right hand margin) I keep a short list of some of the great photographers of the past whose work inspires me...whether it's their humanity or their art, or both, some essence of their spirit serves as fuel for my own soul and intuition as I continue to develop my own craft and my own art.
Today I add to that list the name of Helen Levitt - an American photographer who captured the innocence of urban American street life in the 1930's and 1940's. Her art came into being before the advent of the television which caused us to retreat into our homes. She captured everyday life as it happened and focused mainly on the innocence and beauty of children at play, or just children being children.
The quiet greatness of this woman is important not only to those who follow photography, but it is important to all women. I can only speak for myself but I am inspired by such great women to stand up and be counted and to continue to strive for my own rightful place in the world both because of and in spite of my gender.
This is for all great women, past, present, and future, and in the memory of a great woman whose life achievements and whose body of work we celebrate today.
Some links about Helen Levitt below:
* NPR (Helen Levitt's Indelible Eye) - features an audio clip of an interview of Helen Levitt
* New York Times - Art & Design section posted 30 March 2009
* Lens Culture (features audio interview and slideshow of Helen Levitt's images)