Chalk Drawings and Messages, New York City 1938-1948
Photographs by Helen Levitt, text by Dr. Robert Coles. Edited by Alex Harris and Marvin Hoshino
Published by Duke University Press, 1987
“All over the city on streets and walks and walls the children… have established ancient, essential and ephemeral forms of art, have set forth in chalk and crayon the names and images of their pride, love, preying, scorn, and desire…The Lady in this House is Nuts…Lois I have gone up the street. Don’t forget to bring your skates…Ruby loves Max but Max hates Ruby…And drawings, all over of …ships, homes…western heroes…and monsters….which each strong shower effaces.”
So wrote James Agee in 1939. he shared his fascination with children’s street drawings and messages with his friend, Helen Levitt. Here now are over one hundred of her photographs of these drawings – and of the children who made them – taken in the years between 1938 and 1948. Most of these pictures have never before been published.