Skip to content

Photo of the Week #30

Helen Levitt

Helen Levitt, New York City, circa 1942

 Helen Levitt, New York City, circa 1942


Apr 10, 2019
|One of the real joys in sharing pictures with new viewers, as we experienced multiple times this past week at the AIPAD show, is that together we discover details and interpretations previously unnoticed.  I must have looked at this picture over 500 times, but until this past Saturday, I never noticed the second tricycle near the right border. He is almost a mirror image of the primary cyclist.  Previous journeys led me to focus on the mysterious (presumably) woman in her nightshirt, the boys picking up the fragments of the recently "broken mirror" (the picture's nickname), and of course the central figure in this play, the determined looking boy framed by the absent mirror. Further investigation reveals that this boy is surrounded by 20 other people.

James Agee, in his introduction to A WAY OF SEEING, observed:

"Is it not . . . likely, when you look with care at the respective
postures and ages of the people . . . that surreptitiously,
unknown even to the performers, though in broad daylight,
human beings and their streets continually evolve some of
their most unutterable meanings, as a dance?"
This rare vintage print, exhibited at the Whitney Museum in 1996 in their exhibition "The City of Ambition," will now be installed in our 35th Anniversary show, through April 27, so I invite you to take a closer look and see what you can discover that others overlooked.