Ava Crofford "Portraits of Women" Photographs
An Inventory of the Collection
Ava Crofford was a photographer in Austin, Texas that was known for her portrait photographs, especially executive portraits of businessmen and photographs of members of organizations. Her job out of high school was a salesperson in a photography studio. Once she learned the business and showed aptitude for photography her father sent her to photographic schools in Kansas and Indiana. She moved to Austin and bought University Studio in 1950. In addition to her photography business, Crofford lectured on photographic techniques throughout the South, published articles in professional photographer magazines and wrote a history of the Texas Photographers Association titled The Diamond Years of Texas Photography.
In 1978 Crofford was invited to speak and exhibit at the Mexico International Photographers meeting on the topic of executive portraits. According to an interview in the Austin American-Statesman, after noticing on a previous trip to Mexico that women were not accepted as equals in professional fields, she decided to create an exhibit of executive women from the Austin area. After the exhibit in Mexico the photographs were displayed in the rotunda of the Texas State Capitol.
The collection consists of twenty-six of the fifty photographs taken by Ava Crofford for her exhibit "Portraits of Women". Included are: Lela Jane Akin (President, Night Hawk Food, Inc.), Liz Carpenter (reporter, writer), Martha P. Cotera (owner, Information Systems Development), Roberta Crenshaw, Ava Crofford (co-owner, University Studio), Wilhelmina Delco (Texas State Representative), Ann Froeschl Fails (co-owner, University Studio), Carmen R. Gonzales (owner, Carmen's La Tapatia Restaurant), Carol Hatfield (editor, Discovery Magazine), Shelby Hearon (author), Betty J. Himmelblau (City of Austin council member), Betty Kaiser(Construction Supervisor, Southwestern Bell Telephone Co.), Mary Koock (Vice-President, Bank of Austin), Rosemary Lehmberg (Assistant District Attorney, Travis County), Donna Lopiano (Director of Women's Athletics, University of Texas), Sue McBee (journalist, writer), Carole Keeton McClellan (Mayor, City of Austin), Ann Richards (Travis County Commissioner), Lorene Rogers (President, University of Texas), Elspeth Rostow (Dean, L.B.J. School of Public Affairs), Dorothy Roland (President, Austin Chamber of Commerce), Doris Shropshire (Travis County Clerk), Barbara Vackar (Travis County Democratic Chairperson), Lois Villasenor (Director, Mission Funeral Home, Sarah Weddington (General Council, U. S. Department of Agriculture), Mary Pearl Williams (Judge, Travis County).
Occupations of the women are recorded as listed on the reverse of the photographs in 1978.
Restrictions on Access
Open to all users.
The Austin History Center (AHC) is the owner of the physical materials in the AHC collections and makes available reproductions for research, publication, and other uses. Written permission must be obtained from the AHC before any publication use. The AHC does not necessarily hold copyright to all of the materials in the collections. In some cases, permission for use may require seeking additional authorization from the copyright owners. Consult repository for more details.
Some of the photographs were donated by Crofford; others were purchased by the Austin History Center.
Ava Crofford "Portraits of Women" Photographs (AR.P.009). Austin History Center, Austin Public Library, Texas.
Donor #: DO/1967/010
Donation Date: 1978
Finding aid created and encoded by Molly Hults/2011.
Detailed Description of the Collection