RIP Julius Shulman, 1910 – 2009.

Albert Frey, Loewy House, Palm Springs, photographed by Julius Shulman

Julius Shulman, the prominent architectural photographer who helped introduce North America to modern architecture, died yesterday at age 98. Shulman had never retired. Working solidly almost up until months before his death, he produced a remarkably complete photographic archive of modern American interiors and exteriors spanning more than a 50-year period. Despite the fact that not everyone might recognize his name, his photographs have been seen by tens of millions of people. See also related post here, and obituaries in the New York Times and LA Times.

Eames House, photographed by Julius Shulman

John Lautner, Malin Residence (Chemosphere), Hollywood, photographed by Julius Shulman

Frey Residence, Palm Springs, 1965

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

6 Responses to “RIP Julius Shulman, 1910 – 2009.”

  1. Photographer Julius Shulman, 1910 – 2009. « throwing rocks at bee hives Says:

    […] More here: […]

  2. john hopper Says:

    Beautiful photographs. I have always loved the first photo shown here. It’s so tranquil and sets off the harmony between architecture and environment so effortlessly.

  3. LB Says:

    PS John, I agree that Shulman made difficult photographic subjects look effortless. I read in one of his obituaries that for some of these shots, many of them taken at dusk, the exposures were done in sections and some of them took 45 minutes to set up, which is not surprising.

  4. coozledad Says:

    I tend to be a throwback when it comes to architectural tastes, but your writing gives me a new appreciation for modern work. Wildly OT, but many years ago(mid 80’s) I was looking at an Architectural Digest that discussed a project house that was constructed exclusively from readily available materials like cinderblock, galvanized tin roofing and metal casement windows. It was a fairly large structure, cold and forbidding. Kind of a Gothic garage. It was falling into disrepair in the photos: aileanthus and other invasive trees were starting to encroach on it. The house was never occupied for long to begin with.
    Maybe you’ve seen this thing and can actually remember who designed it. I’m thinking about repeating at least a portion of this folly on my own place. I already live in a sort of medieval house (early nineteenth century yeoman farmer’s house with tiny windows) and I figure it’d be a lateral move at worst.

  5. LB Says:

    I went through that strange conversion to modern architecture too. I would love to see photographs of your folly, if you build it. These things look better when contrasted with older neighbouring buildings anyway. I don’t know the house you’re talking about but can try to find out – anyone know? Also slightly OT, Julius Shulman’s photographs always look somewhat fantastical to anyone from a colder, wetter climate than California’s. From a Vancouver point of view (mine), half of them look like cabanas rather than houses. Shulman photographed all over the States but really his main focus was California, where it’s easier to get away with minimal, simple materials than it is in Vancouver or in England, where I assume you’re writing from. Obviously modernism quite differently here and everything looks more solid, because with insulation and waterproofing, shapes are by necessity much chunkier, eaves and soffits more substantial, windows more serious, deeper shelters over doorways… The California modern houses have such thin, narrow roof lines that sometimes I think they look like line drawings of houses.

  6. WendyB Says:

    Amazing work.

Leave a Reply