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101 Quick and Easy Ideas Taken from the Master Photographers of the Twentieth Century by Matthew Bamberg

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Chapter 20. Helen Levitt (1913–2009)

Helen Levitt never married. Over her lifetime, photography saw many changes. In the ’40s, children played in the streets of New York City, making them easy subjects to photograph. Levitt was swept up by that opportunity, photographing children playing in the streets whenever she could. All of these images are in black and white because color photography had not yet arrived. By the ’60s, color photography technology became widespread. Levitt didn’t take pictures of children in the streets in color because by that time she couldn’t find children playing in the street like in the ’40s; as she put it, “they were inside watching television.”

Levitt had her first solo exhibition at The Museum of Modern Art in 1943. ...

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