Helen Levitt - Photographs New York Wednesday, April 6, 2022 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Acquired directly from the photographer by Ariel Meyerowitz, 1997

  • Literature

    Phillips and Hambourg, Helen Levitt, pls. 21, pl. 43, pl. 54, pl. 57
    powerHouse Books, Helen Levitt: Crosstown, cover, frontispiece, pp. 41, 101, 163

  • Catalogue Essay

    Titles include: Black Cats, New York, 1940, Checkered Cab, NYC, 1982, NYC (Boy in Baby Carriage), 1939, and NYC (Records on Street), 1984.

    These photographs were acquired directly from Helen Levitt by Ariel Meyerowitz, gallerist, art consultant, and daughter of photographer Joel Meyerowitz. Ms. Meyerowitz recalls:

    "I purchased these photographs directly from Helen in her Greenwich Village apt in April 1997. I was 26. I had known her for years and began visiting her once or twice a year to say hello and talk. We talked about photography and would look through her prints together. She was interested in my life, being the daughter of a photographer she knew and respected, and the impact that had on me growing up and as a young adult now working in the gallery world. She wasn't especially verbose but we always had a nice time together. She appreciated my love for her work. I would also play a little with her cat, named Cat. She told me she couldn't be bothered to come up with a name and Cat seemed straightforward enough. At some point I got up the courage to ask if I could buy some photographs. She knew I didn't earn a lot and seemed to be moved that I wanted to spend my savings on her photographs. I asked her how she would feel if I ever owned a gallery and wanted to show these prints. She said 'Once I'm dead you can do whatever you want with my work. Show 'em!' I never did show them at the gallery I opened two years later. I chose to live with them in my home instead."


Selected Images

Four gelatin silver prints, printed later.
Varying sizes from 9 x 6 1/2 in. (22.9 x 16.5 cm) to 12 1/4 x 8 1/4 in. (31.1 x 21 cm)
Each signed, dated and annotated in pencil on the verso.

$10,000 - 15,000 

Sold for $10,710

Contact Specialist

Sarah Krueger
Head of Department, Photographs

Vanessa Hallett
Worldwide Head of Photographs and Chairwoman, Americas


New York Auction 6 April 2022