Priests dressed as black hat dancers for the sacred ‘Cham dance’. The origin of the dance was probably shamanistic and it was introduced to Mongolia from Tibet in the 16th century ©Werner Forman Archive
Priests dressed as black hat dancers for the sacred ‘Cham dance’. The origin of the dance was probably shamanistic and it was introduced to Mongolia from Tibet in the 16th century ©Werner Forman Archive

Thousands of previously-unseen pictures of antiquities and ancient art are being scanned.

Werner Forman Archive holds the extraordinary collection from the 75 year career of the late Werner Forman, who trekked the world to photograph ancient art, antiquities and cultures. He was the co-author and sole photographer of more than 80 books and contributed to many others. Since his death in 2010 a whole tranche of previously-unseen images has been found. These thousands of rare and unpublished images are being sorted, catalogued, captioned by expert academics, and are now in the process of being scanned and the first batch of these digitised images will be available online in the future.

The Werner Forman Archive holds one of the world’s foremost collections of specialist ancient art images from Scandinavia to China, as Werner Forman spent his life photographing cultural treasures, some of which no longer exist, including the history, art, religion and customs of the great civilizations and tribal societies of the past.

These newly discovered images will be a notable addition to the WFA collection. The archive has extensive collections of photographs of archaeological sites, architecture, evocative landscapes and art from the great museum and private collections of the world. The collection holds spectacular images from many countries – click here to see them.

Barbara Heller, Director, Werner Forman Archive says, “It’s been a mammoth task to sort out and prepare to digitise these images, but we are now moving forward steadily although we do not know yet when the first batch will be available. These premium images have never been seen by anyone other than Werner before and therefore are exclusive, rare and unpublished.”

There will be a further announcement when these new images are online.

Werner Forman Archive uncovers new images
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