Crossing Borders: Boris Kaufman

After the Bolshevik Revolution in 1917, Boris Kaufman moved with his family to newly independent Poland. He later went to Paris to study, fought in the French Army, and, when France fell to Germany, left for Canada and eventually the US. Director Elia Kazan chose Kaufman as Director of Photography for “On the Waterfront,” which won eight Academy Awards, including Best Cinematography. Learn about Kaufman and other immigrant artists:
Our digital exhibition “Crossing Borders,” presented as part of our #CitizensBorders initiative, showcases works from MoMA’s collection by artists who immigrated to the U.S., often as refugees in search of safe haven. Explore all the works at

[Elia Kazan. “On the Waterfront.” c.1954. 35mm film (black and white, sound). Acquired from Columbia Pictures. Restored with funding from the Sony Pictures Entertainment/Columbia Pictures preservation program.]