Harrison Forman (1904-1978), a native of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, was a prominent photojournalist and world traveler and also a Fellow of the American Geographical Society. He studied at the Layton School of Art in Milwaukee and graduated from the University of Wisconsin with a degree in Oriental Philosophy. An adventurous journalist, photographer, and explorer, he had been called "a modern Marco Polo" during his lifetime. In his career as a photographer, Forman created a unique visual record of the life and cultures of East Asia, Indochina, the Middle East, South Pacific, Africa and South America. He focused his camera on distant places and people, on streets of little known towns, historic sites, buildings, art, landscapes, scenes of sheer natural beauty, and portraits of women, men, and children. His primary interest was in people and in capturing their daily activities.
In 1987, the Harrison Forman photo collection was presented to the American Geographical Society Library, UW-Milwaukee Libraries. The collection consists of approximately thirty thousand negatives, fifty thousand color slides and transparencies, four thousand photographic prints, scrapbooks, and motion picture films.
While in the field, Mr. Forman maintained diaries containing information directly relevant to his photography. These diaries, on deposit in the University of Oregon Archives, were extremely helpful in the identification of Forman's photos for this project. They have been scanned and published on line, complete with extensive metadata, which can be accessed below.