Artwork Title: New York - Artist Name: Helen Levitt

New York

Helen Levitt, 1942

[Online this photograph is sometimes dated 1939.] In Ms. Levitt’s best-known picture, three properly dressed children prepare to go trick-or-treating on Halloween 1939. Standing on the stoop outside their house, they are in almost metaphorical stages of readiness. The girl on the top step is putting on her mask; a boy near her, his mask in place, takes a graceful step down, while another boy, also masked, lounges on a lower step, coolly surveying the world.... [] ...Was Levitt really trying to capture Halloween in New York City or a deeper reflection of society during that time? Could it be possible that this painting symbolizes how people in the 1940s and still today have to put on a certain cover before going out into the real world? Does acceptance have greater importance than one’s inner being and feeling? The masks represent the cover up that...

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