We Lead, Others Follow

Coming to Albuquerque Museum in March 2021. Women at the helm of photography studios in the late 19th and early 20th century were tenacious, made a good living, and forged a path for others to follow.

We Lead, Others Follow

Hanna & HannaWomen working with hornos, ca. 1930, digital reproduction of a gelatin silver print, transfer from Albuquerque Public Library, PA1978.141.232  

Opens March 6, 2021

We Lead, Others Follow 2020

Cobb Studio

Daphne Cobb reading a Kodak manual

ca. 1920

digital reproduction of a glass plate negative 

Albuquerque Museum purchase


An Albuquerque newspaper advertisement for Mrs. Albright's Art Parlor

Albright Art Parlors Advertisement
Albuquerque Journal, Sunday, August, 21, 1898 

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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.”

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.