Hazel Larsen Archer

Hazel-Frieda Larsen began her studies at the Milwaukee State Teachers College, well-known for its art education department. She attended the Summer Institute at Black Mountain College (BMC) in North Carolina in 1944, when photography was offered as a full course at the college rather than the occasional workshop. A year later, Larsen returned to BMC for her graduate studies, staying on as the institution’s first full-time faculty of photography. Meanwhile, she participated in group as well as solo exhibitions, such as with the Museum of Modern Art and the Photo League in New York. 

In 1953, Larsen married fellow BMC student and artist Charles Archer, changing her name to Hazel Larsen Archer, and left the college to open a photography studio, which specialized in portraiture. Three years later, the couple moved to Tucson, and while Archer chose to exhibit her work gradually less over the years to come, she went on working as a photographer and educator. Archer became significant to a number of local and historical institutions: Tucson Art Center (today the Tucson Museum of Art), Pima Community College, Hidden Springs School, and Avalon College. Moving in 1975 to Santa Fe, where she founded the Institutes for the Release of Potential, Archer returned to Tucson at the end of her life.