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.