press release

DIANE ARBUS – HELEN LEVITT: A Conversation, from January 11 – March 10, 2007, presents an off-beat and unexpected juxtaposition of classic images by two great New York photographers. Seen side by side, these familiar images assume new meanings and stimulate us to take a fresh look at each artist’s point of view.

Despite being separated by a generation and a social class, Arbus and Levitt were acquaintances. Though they never crossed paths while photographing, Levitt wrote a letter of recommendation in support of Arbus’s 1962 Guggenheim Fellowship application. They approached their subjects with opposite styles, yet they photographed the same themes: family, fantasy, friendship, and fashion.

Helen Levitt’s classic and rarely shown film IN THE STREET, made in the mid-1940’s, will be presented along with the photographs. Concurrently, the Museum of Modern Art is featuring 16 Helen Levitt prints in their new installation of works from their permanent collection.

Diane Arbus - Helen Levitt: A Conversation