Julius Shulman

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Julius Shulman

Los Angeles California Fire Station No. 28 by Julius Shulman
Born October 10, 1910 (1910-10-10) (age 98)
Brooklyn, New York,
United States
Occupation Architectural photographer

Julius Shulman (born October 10, 1910) is an American architectural photographer best known for his photograph "Case Study House #22[1], Los Angeles, 1960. Pierre Koenig, Architect." The house is also known as The Stahl House. Shulman's photography spread California modernism around the world. Through his many books, exhibits and personal appearances his work ushered in a new appreciation for the movement beginning in the 1990s. His vast library of images currently reside at the Getty Center in Los Angeles. His contemporaries include Ezra Stoller and Hedrich Blessing. In 1947, Julius Shulman asked architect Raphael Soriano to build a mid-century steel home and studio in the Hollywood Hills. In 1987, the Shulman House was designated a Cultural Heritage Monument by the City of Los Angeles.

Julius Shulman's images of Californian architecture have burned themselves into the retina of the 20th century. A book on modern architecture without Shulman is inconceivable. Some of his architectural photographs, like the iconic shots of Frank Lloyd Wright's or Pierre Koenig's remarkable structures, have been published countless times. The brilliance of buildings like those by Charles Eames, as well as those of his close friend, Richard Neutra, was first brought to light by Shulman's photography.

The clarity of his work demanded that architectural photography had to be considered as an independent art form. Each Shulman image unites perception and understanding for the buildings and their place in the landscape. The precise compositions reveal not just the architectural ideas behind a building's surface, but also the visions and hopes of an entire age. A sense of humanity is always present in his work, even when the human figure is absent from the actual photographs.

Today, a great many of the buildings documented by Shulman have disappeared or been crudely converted, but the thirst for his pioneering images is stronger than ever before.


[edit] Exhibitions

The Getty Research Institute held a 2005-2006 exhibition of Shulman's prints entitled "Julius Shulman, Modernity and the Metropolis"[2]. The exhibition included sections entitled "Framing the California Lifestyle," "Promoting the Power of Modern Architecture," "The Tools of an Innovator," and "The Development of a Metropolis"[2]. The exhibition traveled to the National Building Museum[3] and to the Art Institute of Chicago[4].

On December 16, 2007 Shulman attended a showing of his architectural photography at the Los Angeles Public Library[5]. The exhibit, organized by the Getty Research Institute, included one hundred fifty photographs documenting architectural changes in Los Angeles for the last eighty years. This progression includes the re-development of Bunker Hill, the growth of Century City, the avant-garde architectural designs in Los Angeles, such as Watts Towers, Grauman's Chinese Theatre, and the Getty Villa, as well as the growth of Wilshire Boulevard. The exhibition features the industrial engines at the Port of Los Angeles and the Los Angeles International Airport that helped fuel the growth of Los Angeles Also, featured diverse residential fabric from Echo Park to South Los Angeles. The exhibit spot-lighted Shulman's unique role in capturing and promoting innovative, sleek Case Study Houses, as well as the contrasting tract housing developments with repeated floor plans.

In February, 2008, the Palm Springs Art Museum presented "Julius Shulman: Palm Springs," guest curated by Michael Stern. Containing over 200 objects, this is the largest Julius Shulman exhibition that has ever been presented to date. In addition to the Shulman photographs, renderings, illustrations and models of many of the buildings that Shulman photographed were presented to compliment Shulman's extensive documentation of a place that was so inspirational to him. Rizzoli published the accompanying catalog, "Julius Shulman: Palm Springs." Additionally, a documentary DVD was produced in conjunction with the exhibition "Julius Shulman: Desert Modern."

[edit] Film

"Visual Acoustics: The Modernism of Julius Shulman"

Winner of the 2009 Palm Springs International Film Festival Audience Award for Best Documentary Feature, “Visual Acoustics” explores the monumental career of architectural photographer Julius Shulman. Shulman's images helped to shape the careers of some of the greatest architects of the 20th century, including Frank Lloyd Wright, Richard Neutra and John Lautner. Narrated by Dustin Hoffman and directed by Eric Bricker, the film explores both Shulman’s art and uniquely individualistic life offering a lyrical portrait of modernism’s most eloquent ambassador.


[edit] Bibliography

  • “Shulman face to face,” interview with Julius Shulman, CA Modern magazine, Summer 2007, pp. 16-17 by Jeffrey Head
  • Case Study House #21, "A Conversation with Julius Shulman” Summer 2006, pp. 9-12 by Jeffrey Head. Published by (Richard) Wright, Chicago.
  • Julius Shulman: The Man Behind the Camera, article by Michael Stern, Palm Springs Life Magazine, February 2008, pp. 80-91

[edit] References

  1. ^ Case Study House #22 - photograph Getty Museum
  2. ^ a b Getty Research Institute. Julius Shulman, Modernity and the Metropolis. October 11, 2005 - January 22, 2006. Retrieved August 29, 2008.
  3. ^ National Building Museum. Julius Shulman: Modernity and the Metropolis. April 1, 2006 - July 30, 2006. Retrieved August 29, 2008.
  4. ^ Art Institute of Chicago. Julius Shulman: Modernity and the Metropolis. September 2, 2006 - December 3, 2006. Retrieved August 29, 2008.
  5. ^ Los Angeles Public Library. Julius Shulman's Los Angeles. October 6, 2007 - January 27, 2008. Retrieved August 29, 2008.

[edit] External links

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