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New York Public Library Salutes Three Visionary Photographers with Exhibition
Helen Levitt, 1913–2009. Untitled gelatin silver print, ca. 1940. NYPL, The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs. © Estate of Helen Levitt; reproduced courtesy of Laurence Miller Gallery, New York.

NEW YORK, NY.- The New York Public Library celebrates the life and work of three distinguished women photographers (all of whom passed away last year) with an exhibition showcasing a sampling of their insightful, exceptional photographs. In Passing: Evelyn Hofer, Helen Levitt and Lilo Raymond is on view February 22 through May 23, 2010 in the Stokes Gallery (3rd floor) of the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building located at Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street. Admission is free.

The show features three dozen images selected by Stephen C. Pinson, the curator of the Library’s Photography Collection, from which the exhibition is drawn. Helen Levitt’s widely recognized compositions from the streets of New York suggest a concrete city at once unflappable, mischievous, and enigmatic; in one such unsettling image, young children stand on a doorstep in eerie masks. Also on view are Evelyn Hofer’s portraits: diligent inquiries into people and spaces; her consummate technique is evident in every finely composed photograph. Lilo Raymond’s tranquil studies of interiors reveal her acute understanding of texture, light and space.

Though lesser known than male contemporaries such as Henri Cartier-Bresson, Robert Frank, and Walker Evans, Hofer, Levitt, and Raymond each bestow a legacy as singular and influential. This exhibition, presented in conjunction with the 30th anniversary of the National Women’s History Project (coordinator of the annual celebration of Women’s History Month in March), justly honors their contributions.

Evelyn Hofer was born in Marburg, Germany in 1922, and came to New York in 1946. She taught innumerable photographers who were drawn to her technical expertise and masterful use of the large-format view camera.

Helen Levitt was born in the Bensonhurst neighborhood of Brooklyn in 1913. Her work in “street photography” made her the unofficial visual poet laureate of New York City. She worked for nearly 70 years as a photographer. Most of her images on view here are from the now-classic photobook A Way of Seeing.

Lilo Raymond was born in Frankfurt, Germany in 1922, and came to New York in 1939. She taught for several years at the School of Visual Arts in Manhattan, studied with David Vestal, and published her first book of photographs, Revealing Light (in which all of the photographs on display in this exhibition appeared), in 1989.

The New York Public Library | Evelyn Hofer | Helen Levitt | Lilo Raymond |

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