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 1930s50s documentary/humanistic photography and European politics.
We Went Back: Photographs from Europe 1933–1956 by Chim is available for tour. If you are interested in hosting the exhibition at your museum, or to reserve a slot on a tour, please contact us at [email protected] or 212.857.9738.
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