Last Updated July 13, 2018

Julius Shulman

American (Born 1910 - Died 2009 ) PREMIUM LISTING Featured Hot
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Address: Getty Center
1200 Getty Center Drive
Los Angeles

Influence: Historically influential or important

Born in 1910, Julius Shulman was an American architectural photographer best known for his images of Modernist architecture. Considered a pioneer of architectural photography, his work was in part responsible for the creation of the genre as an independent form of art.

His best know image is 'Case Study House #22, Los Angeles, 1960'. Also known as the Stahl House. The dramatic cantilever of the building is certainly enticing, but something of the picture’s fame rests in the fact that people were allowed in the house, for a change. For all its simplicity, it’s actually a very complicated shot, requiring a 7.5 minute exposure on the city grid below, concluded with a flash image of the house. Like many of his photos, the apparently casual composition was carefully planned: furniture arranged to suit the photographic composition (rather than the function of the room). In other photos he held branches over the top of the frame to change the appearance of the natural landscape.

His introduction to Architectural photography was occurred by chance. One of Shulman’s first assignments was arranged by a draughtsman friend working for the acclaimed modernist architect Richard Neutra. Impressed by the resulting images Nuetra gave Shulman more assignments, which in turn caught the attention of other modernist architects and helped to launch his career.

Shulman opened his Los Angeles Studio in 1950 at the age of 40, and worked full time for the next four decades.

His photographs have documented many classic buildings which were subsequently demolished or repurposed fuelling wider demand and interest in Shulman’s work.
Shulman’s images have been published countless times and have been credited with spreading the Californian Mid-century modern architecture movement around the world. His work introduced Americans to works by Frank Lloyd Wright, John Lautner and Raphael Soriano among others.

He has exhibited at galleries throughout the world including the Getty Research Institute, National Building Museum and to the Art Institute of Chicago, the Design and Architecture Museum in Frankfurt, Germany, the Barnsdall Municipal Gallery in Los Angeles 2006, Craig Krull Gallery Bergamot Station, Los Angeles, the Los Angeles Public Library, the Palm Springs Art Museum.

His extensive library of images is currently managed by the Getty Centre in Los Angeles.

Shulman died in 2009 at the age of 98.


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