The Blackboard, Poland

Artist: David "Chim" Seymour (American, born Poland, 1911–1956)

Date: 1948

Medium: Gelatin silver print

Dimensions: Image: 48 x 35.4 cm (18 7/8 x 13 15/16 in.)
Mount: 48.4 x 35.4 cm (19 1/16 x 13 15/16 in.)

Classification: Photographs

Credit Line: Gift of Photography in the Fine Arts, 1959

Accession Number: 59.559.70

Rights and Reproduction: © David "Chim" Seymour / Magnum Photos


One of the founders of Magnum Photos in 1947, Chim first gained recognition for his photographs of the Spanish Civil War and the Popular Front in Paris during World War II. His intuitive ability to identify and record key moments in the experience of events and of his surroundings allowed him to access wordlessly the emotional heart of a subject, a talent that was particularly useful for photographing children. This image is from a UNESCO-commissioned project to document the effects of World War II on Europe's children. It depicts a child who has lost her parents in the war, and the drawing on the blackboard is her rendition of "home."