grew up in Brooklyn. Dropping out of high school, she
taught herself photography while working for a
commercial photographer. While teaching art to children in 1937, Levitt became intrigued
with the transitory sidewalk chalk drawings that were part of
the New York children's street culture of the time.
Levitt purchased a Leica camera and began to photograph
the children and their street art.
The photographs were published "In The Street: Chalk Drawings and
New York City 1938-1948"
fascination with children's sidewalk art
In 1959 and 1960, Levitt received two Guggenheim
Foundation grants to take color photographs on the streets
of New York. Much of her work in color from the 1960s was
stolen from her East 13th Street
In 1940s, Levitt made two documentary films with
Janice Loeb and James Agee called In the Street (1948) and The
Quiet One (1948).
Helen Levitt captures
her own empathy for the street kids of New York