Chim's intellectual acumen and emotional intelligence made him one of the most respected photographers of his day. He was an astute observer of twentieth-century European history, particularly of the struggle for worker's rights, countries in transition, and postwar resistance and survival. Born Dawid Szymin in 1911 in Warsaw, to a Yiddish publishing family, he called himself "Chim" in Paris in the 1930s, was naturalized as David Seymour as a U.S. citizen in 1942, and then established himself in Rome in 1950. Although war formed the backdrop to much of his reportage, Chim was not known primarily as a war photographer; rather, his experience led to a profound concern for the enforced movement of people across borders. Through his photographs, Chim emerges as both a talented reporter and a creator of elegant compositions of startling grace and beauty. This retrospective exhibition traces the development of Chim's career as an intellectually engaged photojournalist, placing his life and work in the broader context of 1930s–50s documentary/humanistic photography and European politics.


This exhibition is available for tour. If you are interested in finding out about availability or to reserve a slot on the tour, please contact or 212.857.9738.

Exhibition Specs

Content: Approximately 100 vintage black-and-white and color prints, publications in which his work originally appeared, contact sheets, and personal material

Approximate running length: 300 feet/90 meters

Tour Venues

Jewish Historical Museum | Amsterdam, Netherlands
October 19, 2018–March 10, 2019

Special Thanks

This exhibition is made possible by The John and Anna Maria Phillips Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, The Bernard Lee Schwartz Foundation, Inc., by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, and with the support of the Polish Cultural Institute New York.