Advanced Search

We Lead, Others Follow, Photo Archives Exhibition

We Lead, Others Follow
On view March 6 – November 14, 2021
Matthew Brady. William Henry Jackson. Edward Steichen. Those names dominate the pictorial record of the turn of the 20th century. But what about Mrs. Franc Emma Luce Albright, Alabama Milner, and Ottilia Hanna? Tate Britain Curator Carol Jacobi noted in a 2016 article in The Guardian that when you look at the history of photography, “people are not expecting women to be there, so they don’t look for their work.”

It’s time to look.

Step into five Albuquerque studios:
• Mrs. Albright’s Art Parlor owned by Mrs. Franc Emma Luce Albright (1882 – 1912)
• Cobb Studio owned by William and Eddie Cobb (1889-1942)
• Potter Studio owned by Florence Potter (1901-1906)
• Hanna & Hanna owned by Milton and Ottilia Hanna (1914-1984)
• Milner Studio owned by Alabama Milner (1919-1958)

Here, women at the helm of photography studios were tenacious, exhibiting their work at World’s Fairs and being celebrated by photography organizations. They survived tumultuous decades when the economy was affected by world wars, depression, and disease. They made a good living, supporting their families through their photography and lasting longer in the business world than many of their male counterparts. They were determined to not only make their mark, but serve as a guiding light. They knew that their ultimate success relied upon the passing on of their experience and knowledge to other women.

They led in the hopes that others would follow.