Luce Ben Aben School of Arab Embroidery I, Algiers, Algeria


This photochrome print of the interior of a school of embroidery in Algiers is part of “Views of People and Sites in Algeria” from the catalog of the Detroit Publishing Company (1905). In 1845 the Frenchwoman Eugénie Luce (1804–82) opened a school for Muslim girls in Algiers that was intended to educate local girls along European lines. She included teaching needlework in the curriculum, along with French and other subjects. In 1861 the French Algerian administration withdrew funding from the school. The emphasis of the school shifted from general education to embroidery and training for a trade. Traditional female crafts in Algeria, such as weaving, embroidery, and carpet making, had suffered from the competition with machine-made imports, and the Luce Ben Aben School sought to work against the effects of this trend. By 1880, Madame Luce’s granddaughter, Madame Ben-Aben, was running the school.

Date Created

Subject Date

Publication Information

Detroit Photographic Company, Detroit, Michigan

Title in Original Language

Arab School of Embroidery, Algiers, Algeria

Type of Item

Physical Description

1 photomechanical print : photochrom, color


  • The Detroit Photographic Company was launched as a photographic publishing firm in the late 1890s by Detroit businessman and publisher William A. Livingstone, Jr., and photographer and photo-publisher Edwin H. Husher. They obtained exclusive rights to use the Swiss "Photochrom" process for converting black-and-white photographs into color images and printing them by photolithography. This innovative process was applied to the mass production of color postcards, prints, and albums for sale to the American market. The firm became the Detroit Publishing Company in 1905.
  • Print no. "6288".

Last updated: August 13, 2014