Checkered Past, 1982

Helen Levitt, 1982. Museum of Modern Art

Helen Levitt, 1982. Museum of Modern Art

Native New Yorker Helen Levitt (1913-2009) made her reputation by capturing candid moments on the streets of her city. Today she is regarded as one of the forerunners of modern street photography. Take a look at the large collection of her work at the Museum of Modern Art.

My husband found this photo and knew right away that I would love the interplay of patterns.  Did she spend time in front of a mirror putting on the tweedy knitted cap in a spiral pattern, adding the checked skirt, and topping it off with a jacket in yet another check?  How serendipitous that Helen Levitt had her camera in hand when the woman hailed a New York checkered cab.

Is the woman older? Without a look at her face, there is no way to say for sure.  I think she is, though, because of the rounded shape of her back.

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2 Responses to Checkered Past, 1982

  1. eimear says:

    I just had a look at the link – gorgeous photos, and as your photo above is 1982, I can really imagine that outfit (which is the same year I made my first houndstooth skirt, cut the back slightly crooked so it took a while to figure why the hem didn’t match up each time I went around…………) those check patterns and plaids were everywhere

  2. Lizzie says:

    Her hand has an older look to it as well. Interesting photo!

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