January 26, 2010, New York, N.Y., 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.
About the photographers
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.
This exhibition has been made possible by the continuing generosity of Miriam and Ira D. Wallach.
The curator wishes to acknowledge the Olden Collection and the Shirley C. Burden Collection, from which most of the exhibition images are drawn.
About The New York Public Library
The New York Public Library was created in 1895 with the consolidation of the private libraries of John Jacob Astor and James Lenox with the Samuel Jones Tilden Trust. The Library provides free and open access to its physical and electronic collections and information, as well as to its services. Its renowned research collections are located in the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building at Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street; The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts at Lincoln Center; the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in Harlem; and the Science, Industry and Business Library at 34th Street and Madison Avenue. Eighty-seven branch libraries provide access to circulating collections and a wide range of other services in neighborhoods throughout the Bronx, Manhattan, and Staten Island. Research and circulating collections combined total more than 50 million items. In addition, each year the Library presents thousands of exhibitions and public programs, which include classes in technology, literacy, and English for speakers of other languages. All in all The New York Public Library serves more than 17 million patrons who come through its doors annually and millions more around the globe who use its resources at www.nypl.org.
Contact: Jennifer Lam, Jennifer_Lam@nypl[dot]org, 212.592.7708