Austin History Center

Ava Crofford "Portraits of Women" Photographs

An Inventory of the Collection

Overview of the Collection

Creator: Crofford, Ava
Title: Ava Crofford "Portraits of Women" Photographs
Dates: 1978
Abstract: Ava Crofford was a professional photographer in Austin, Texas. The collection consists of twenty-six of the photographs used in an exhibit titled "Portraits of Women", a collection of photographs of fifty outstanding women from the Austin community displayed in July 1978 at the Mexican International Photographers Conference.
Identification: AR.P.009
Quantity: .2 linear feet (1 box)
Location: Archives Stacks
Language: English
Repository: Austin History Center, Austin Public Library,
810 Guadalupe, PO Box 2287, Austin, TX 78768

Biographical Note

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.

Scope and Contents

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.


Photographs are arranged alphabetically by last name.


Restrictions on Access

Open to all users.

Use Restrictions

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.

Index Terms

This record series is indexed under the following controlled access subject terms.
Akin, Lela Jane.
Carpenter, Liz.
Cotera, Martha P.
Crenshaw, Roberta.
Crofford, Ava.
Delco, Wilhelmina.
Fails, Ann Froeschl.
Gonzales, Carmen.
Hatfield, Carol.
Hearon, Shelby.
Himmelblau, Betty.
Kaiser, Betty.
Koock, Mary Faulk.
Lehmberg, Rosemary.
Lopiano, Diana.
McBee, Sue.
McClellan, Carole Keeton.
Richards, Ann.
Rogers, Lorene Lane.
Rostow, Elspeth.
Roland, Dorothy.
Shropshire, Doris.
Vackar, Barbara.
Villasenor, Lois.
Weddington, Sarah.
Williams, Mary Pearl.
University Studio.
Austin (Tex.)--Pictorial works.
Photography, Artistic--Exhibitions
Portrait photography.
Women--Pictorial works.
Document Types:
Color photographs.

Related Material

AF Biography--Crofford, Ava.

AF Subject--Photographers and Photography--University Studio P3500 (24)

Administrative Information

Custodial History

Some of the photographs were donated by Crofford; others were purchased by the Austin History Center.

Preferred Citation

Ava Crofford "Portraits of Women" Photographs (AR.P.009). Austin History Center, Austin Public Library, Texas.

Acquisition Information

Donor #: DO/1967/010

Donation Date: 1978

Processing Information

Finding aid created and encoded by Molly Hults/2011.

Detailed Description of the Collection

Ava Crofford "Portraits of Women" Photographs, 1978

Box Folder
1 1 "Portraits of Women" invitation brochure, 1978
1 Lela Jane Akin (#001)
1 Liz Carpenter (#002)
1 Martha Cotera (#003)
1 Roberta Crenshaw (#004)
1 Ava Crofford (#005)
2 Wilhelmina Delco (#006)
2 Ann Froeschl Fails (#007)
2 Carmen Gonzales (#008)
2 Carol Hatfield (#009)
2 Shelby Hearon (#010)
3 Betty Himmelblau (#011)
3 Betty Kaiser (#012)
3 Mary Koock (#013)
3 Rosemary Lehmberg (#014)
3 Donna Lopiano (#015)
4 Sue Brandt McBee (#016)
4 Carole Keeton McClellan (#017)
4 Ann Richards (#018)
4 Lorene Rogers (#019)
4 Elspeth Rostow (#020)
5 Dorothy Rowland (#021)
5 Doris Shropshire (#022)
5 Barbara Vackar (#023)
5 Lois Villasenor (#024)
5 Sarah Weddington (#025)
5 Mary Pearl Williams (#026)