The Vera and Gene Foreman photograph albums consist of four volumes containing approximately 917 photographs and miscellaneous ephemera that document the experiences of Vera Irene Masuch and her husband-to-be Charles Eugene “Gene” Foreman in post-World War II Europe both before and after they first met as well as earlier trips taken by Vera and friends to various places in the United States.
Volume 1 (1942-1943)
This album (25.5 x 33 cm) has brown faux-leather covers and contains approximately 159 photographs as well as some postcards. Images include numerous snapshots of young men and women (including Vera) on a ranch in Green Mountain Falls, Colorado; coverage of visits to Pike's Peak, Denver as well as an unidentified tropical location; and photographs showing young men in military uniforms.
Volume 2 (1949)
This album (32 x 38 cm) has decorative dark blue faux-leather covers and white plastic ring binding and contains 50 photographs as well as some ephemera. Only five pages near the front of the album and two pages towards the back contain any photographs, most of which show American GIs (including Gene) in training camp settings primarily near the town of Friedburg, Germany, and engaging in social activities. Some but not all images have captions. Also present towards the back of the album are several loose images including real photo postcards showing travel scenes to European locations such as Paris, Naples, Rome, and Venice as well as a group portrait of a football team, a program dated December 2 1950 for a USAREUR football game between the 2nd RCT "Dragoons" and 16th Infantry Regiment "Rangers," and a souvenir from the Casa Blanca cocktail bar in Newark, New Jersey bearing Gene Foreman's signature.
Volume 3 (1949-1950)
This album (32 x 38 cm) has decorative black faux-leather covers and white plastic ring binding and contains approximately 580 photographs as well as some ephemera. Images include photographs (including football games) from the U.S. military base near Augsburg from 1949 to 1950; recreational visits to Augsburg, Berchtesgaden (including the Eagle's Nest), Garmisch, Bonn, Heidelberg, and Frankfurt am Main in Germany, Salzburg and Vienna in Austria, and locations in the Netherlands, France, and Italy; wounded American soldiers encountered during a visit to a hospital in Munich; and 24 views of the former concentration camp in Dachau. Other images of note include photographs of a wedding between Vera's friends Mary and John and sporadic images unrelated to post-war Europe that were taken during past vacations including trips to Colorado, Utah, and El Paso, Texas.
Volume 4 (1950-1951)
This album (34.5 x 28 cm) has red leather covers and red satin lining and contains approximately 125 photographs as well as some ephemera. The first page bears the inscription "Merry Christmas! Gene, 1951, Augsburg, Germany" as well as a photograph of Vera and Gene seated together at a table. Images include numerous snapshots of friends and soldiers engaged in social activities taken on the Augsburg military base as well as photographs (including real photo postcards) taken in other European locations such as Venice, Pisa, Florence, Cannes, Amiens, and Paris. Numerous individuals are identified through captions. Also present is a tissue with lipstick kisses and a tuft of blonde hair, while several photographs and ephemeral items are stored loose towards the back of the album.
The individual captioned as "me" in a number of photographs in Volume 3 appears to be Vera. She also appears regularly in the pictures of Volume 1 (also identified as "me" in captions) as well as Volume 4, but does not appear at all in Volume 2. Gene appears for the first time outside of Volume 2 in the final few pages of Volume 3, where he is initially introduced in a portrait with the caption "Gene Forman - Eibsee Hotel, June 1950"; this portrait is followed by a full page of photos of Gene. Given that Volume 2 seems to portray Gene's time in Friedburg and most of Volume 3 seems to represent Vera's personal experiences in Augsburg and traveling elsewhere in Europe, it appears that they may have been unacquainted prior to June 1950. By October 1950 the two appear to be acting as a couple, as documented in a travel bureau itinerary present at the end of Volume 3 that details a four-day program in Naples for "Miss Masuch and Mr. Forman." The couple also appears together in Volume 4, though in this instance the "me" captions refer to Gene and not Vera, suggesting that he was the primary creator of that album.