More Information

Account Information

A Way of Seeing by Helen Levitt and James Agee, First Edition



A Way of Seeing: Photographs of New York by Helen Levitt

Essay by James Agee

First Edition, First Printing, 1965

Near FINE Condition

This is a first edition, first printing of the critically acclaimed photobook, “A Way of Seeing: Photographs of New York” published by The Viking Press, New York in 1965. “A Way of Seeing” was Helen Levitt’s first published collection of photographs and features 50 incredible gravure plates of her pictures taken on the streets of Yorkville, Harlem and the Lower East Side. In The Photobook: A History, Martin Parr and Gerry Badger write, "Levitt's photographs are beautiful--major underrated works. Like Henri Cartier-Bresson, she achieves a rare balancing act: her pictures have sentiment without being sentimental, always maintaining an objective distance...The casual observer of these pictures, dazzled by their poetry, could easily miss the harsher realities masked by the surface warmth and joie de vivre.” The New York Times stated, "Helen Levitt was the first American photographer to fully comprehend the essence of Henri Cartier-Bresson's photographic message and put it into practice. Like Cartier-Bresson, she understood how to combine intuition and intellect to forge sophisticated, lyrical compositions from commonplace events.”

Measuring approximately 7” x 9.5”, the book is oblong and bound in the original black cloth boards in a photographically illustrated dust jacket. The condition of the book is Near Fine+ with very minor age toning to the edges. The dust jacket is price clipped and in Very Good+ condition with a bit of wear to the tips, a 1” crease on the upper right front corner, and very minor loss at the spine head. Overall, this is a collectible copy of an exceptional photobook classic.

Cited in all three reference books on photobooks: “The Book of 101 Books: Seminal Photographic Books of the Twentieth Century” by Andrew Roth and “The Photobook: A History”, by Parr and Badger, and “The Open Book” by Andrew Roth.

Photographs of the book as well as a stock image from the book appear in the photo section of the listing. Please note that the cloudiness on the bottom of the dust jacket is a reflection off the mylar cover.