The 1940s school that turned photography into art – in pictures

Mentored by the likes of Ansel Adams, Dorothea Lange and Edward Weston, photography students at the California School of Fine Arts explored everything from abstraction to documentary.

The Orient Express, 1952
Following mentorship at the California School of Fine Arts under Weston, Ira Latour travelled to Europe, taking photos as well as presenting a radio show on photography for foreign troops
Photograph: Ira Latour

Paris, France c.1945-50
Benjamen Chinn came to the school from a job as an aerial photographer in the air force. He also learned painting under Richard Diebenkorn, and was later taught sculpture by Alberto Giacometti in Paris
Photograph: Benjamen Chinn