Chim: David Seymour's Humanist Photography
National Gallery of Art, home page
Image: David Seymour (Chim), Albergo dei Poveri, Naples, 1949, gelatin silver print, printed 1982 David Seymour (Chim)
Albergo dei Poveri, Naples, 1949
gelatin silver print, printed 1982
National Gallery of Art, Gift of Ben Shneiderman
© David Seymour Estate/Magnum Photos

Children of Europe

Albergo dei Poveri, Naples

Naples' Albergo dei Poveri was a massive royal alms house constructed in the eighteenth century to shelter, nourish, and provide work to destitute Neapolitans. After the war, wayward boys were remanded by the juvenile court to the Albergo, where they went to school and learned trades.

The intimacy of many of Chim's photographs of children derives in part, as here, from being taken at the children's height. This frame-filling image manages both to offer a close-up portrait of the boys in the foreground and to suggest the countless number of children affected by the war. It was printed across two pages in the centerfold of the UNICEF book.