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Photo of the Week #152

Helen Levitt

Helen Levitt, New York 1945, child in baby carriage laughs as woman sticks her head inside the carriage.

New York, 1945
Initialled  "H.L." on verso
From the James Agee Family Collection


August 2, 2021

This picture, perhaps more than any other, exemplifies Helen Levitt’s gift for capturing fleeting moments of visual wit. The way that such a simple scenario can convey so much mirth and playfulness harkens back to the visual economy of the great comedians from silent films. There’s a bit of Laurel and Hardy’s physical comedy in the scene, right down to the impish glee radiating from the child’s face—a ringer for the expression on Oliver Hardy’s face after a successful gag.