Copyright 1998 Elliot Erwitt
David Seymour (1911-1956), known to his friends as "Chim", applied his skilled hand, warm heart, and perceptive eye to photographing poignant and dramatic events of the 20th century. Chim's photographs have appeared in many magazine articles, books, and exhibits, and a number of memorials have been dedicated to his memory. His photographs of famous personalities of the 20th century are widely known.
Chim was a founder of Magnum in 1947 and was President at the time of death in 1956 while photographing at Suez Canal. His negatives remain at Magnum in New York and Paris, where his work continues to be requested for publication and exhibit. A large selection of vintage prints is in the collection of the International Center of Photography in New York, which prepared an extensive exhibit in 1996. At that time a thorough presentation of Chim's work was produced in a book by Inge Bondi and an accompanying website.
The University of Maryland Art Gallery will host an exhibit of 40 Chim prints called Close Enough from February 5, 1999 to April 17, 1999.
Those who knew Chim were inevitably impressed by the exuberance with which he approached his work. Chim's personal charm and artistic brilliance endeared him to his friends, and these outstanding human qualities live on through vhis pictures. His total commitment to his work, his genuine interest in people, and his focus on children are personified in his photographic progeny.
This website was prepared during 1998 based on the hypertext database written in 1986. The redesign and implementation were done by Alice Han under the direction of Ben Shneiderman, Chim's nephew, at The University of Maryland at College Park.