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John Upton (1932-2020) SFAI photographer, author

Minor White photo of John Upton, 1956; and Upton Jan. 2020 at Orange Coast College with a copy of Victoria and Ken Ball's The Golden Decade about the early history of SFAI's photo department.

John Upton (1932-2020) came to the California School of Fine Arts (SFAI) from SoCal at the age of 19 in 1951 to study photography—he was already familiar with Ansel Adams who he had heard a lecture in Los Angeles. He studied ceramics at the School as well as photography. Later, after serving in Korea, Upton continued studying photography with Minor White and Beaumont Newhall in Rochester, New York.

In 1976 Upton co-authored with Barbara London one of the most widely used and successful college photo textbooks: Photography—now in its 12th edition. There are 1.5 million copies in print! Upton taught for 40 years at the venerable photo department at Orange Coast College which launched a major survey exhibition of his fine artwork this past January.

With permission, SFAA is re-posting the emails Jeff Gunderson Librarian/Archivist Anne Bremer Memorial Library has been sending out since March 2020. Please enjoy this magnificent archive.


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