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David Seymour (1911-1956) was one of the most influential photojournalists of the 20th century. He took the name “CHIM” based on his family’s original Polish name (Szymin). CHIM was known for his early work in Paris and the Spanish Civil War, After World War II his photographs of orphan children for UNESCO established his reputation. He was a co-founder of the photo cooperative Magnum in 1947 and was President at the time of his death by Egyptian fire while photographing for Newsweek after the cease fire in the 1956 Suez Crisis. His biography www.icp.org/chim tells the story of how he won the trust of Hollywood personalities, political luminaries, and ordinary people in order to make compelling portraits and tell revealing stories.

For more information on the CHIM portfolio of photos, recent exhibits or books, historical reports on his life, and personal recollections visit the David Seymour Web Site.

This CHIM Archive includes 680 documents, spanning the period from 1931 to 1961. Most are in English, but some are also in French, Polish and Spanish. The originals remain with CHIM’s nephew, Ben Shneiderman, and niece, Helen Sarid.


Letter from Robert Capa to CHIM concerning Magnum assignments, trips and success.

Letter from Ingrid Bergman
to CHIM
, [Oct. 1952]: "you are a marvelous photographer and I am a marvelous baby-maker!"


Postcard from CHIM to Hala, [29th March, 1944], somewhere in the East
Dear Hala,
It will take now sometime till the phone will ring and you will hear my voice.
It will be a great day when it will happen again – and let’s hope it will happen soon.
Kiss the children, Regards for Emil and the family all over the world. Your Didek


Press card
issued in 1936 in Paris by Photo Rap Agency


Press card
issued in 1934 in Warsaw for a Polish paper







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