John Upton on The Golden Decade
Thursday, March 23
Included with museum admission
The renowned photographer discusses photography teachers and students at his San Francisco alma mater.
John Upton studied with Ansel Adams, Imogen Cunningham, Minor White, Dorothea Lange, and Edward Weston at the California School of Fine Arts (now the San Francisco Art Institute) in the early 1950s. In 1955 he was the first resident student of Minor White in Rochester, New York and took courses in the history of photography from Beaumont Newhall. He completed degrees in education and art history at California State University, Long Beach. In the 1960s he became Chair of the Photography Department at Orange Coast College, Costa Mesa, California. He has taught photography workshops,, and was a visiting lecturer in the history of photography at colleges, universities, and art schools in southern California. He has also lectured extensively on the history of photography at several venues in the United States, Canada, China, and Japan. He curated numerous exhibitions for museums and galleries including Color as Form: A History of Color Photography exhibited in 1982 at the International Museum of Photography at the George Eastman House and at the Corcoran Gallery in Washington, DC. He served as a panelist and consultant for the National Endowment for the Arts, and has written critical essays and reviews for several museum catalogs and photography publications including Aperture. During the 1970s he was on the boards of trustees of the Society for Photographic Education and Friends of Photography. In 1976 he coauthored with Barbara London the college textbook PHOTOGRAPHY now in its twelfth edition with 1.5 million copies in print. He had several one-person exhibitions and has been included in many group exhibitions. His work is in museum collections including the New York Metropolitan and M.I.T. In 1988 he received the California Museum of Photography Members Award for contributions to the history of photography and education. In 1999 he retired from teaching and has been photographing in Japan and Hawaii. His exhibitions, Japanalia and the Jungle Road have been shown at three college art galleries during the last ten years. His most recent (12/13/2014 – 1/17/2015) solo exhibition was The Jungle Road at Smith Andersen North Gallery in San Anselmo, California. In 2016 his work was exhibited in the foyers of office buildings in San Francisco. Additional biographic information is listed in Who’s Who in American Art (16th edition).