A Constructed View: The Architectural Photography of Julius Shulman
Julius Shulman, one of the great master of architectural photography, is the preeminent recoreder of early California modernism. By 1927, when he was sixteen, Shulman was already using the family Brownie box camera to document his Southern Californis surroundings and experiences; in 1936, his professional career was launched when he sent Richard Neutra some uncommissioned photographs of the architect's Kun House. Shulman went on to document the famous Case Study House Program (architects included Charles and Ray Eames, Pierre Koenig, and Eero Saarinen) and also the architecure of the 1930s through the 1980s, especially that of Southern California, but also country and worldwide. His subjects included the buildings of R.M. Schindler, John Lautner, Raphael Soriano, Frank Lloyd Wright, Mies van der Rohe, Oscar Niemeyer, among many others. Through his work, Shulman defined the image of Los Angeles and framed the architecture of the time for a global audience.
In addition to an overview of Shulman's career and photographic oevre, this book emphasizes Shulman's method of "constructing" photographic views. These contructions, which complemented his innate ability to compose striking photographs, often transcends reality to capture the spirit, time and place of a work of architecture. An analysis of architecture's visual presentation examines not only the media of the era--John Entenza's "Arts & Architecture," for instance--but also the work of Shulman's photographic contemporaries.
Joseph Rosa is chief curator of the National Building Museum in Washington, D.C., and the author of numerous essays and books, including Rizzoli's "Albert Frey, Architect." He received his architecturedegree from Columbia University and is currently a doctoral candidate in the university's Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation.
Ester McCoy was the formost architectural historian of Southern California. Her books include "Modern California Houses, Five California Architects, "and "Vienna to Los Angeles: Two Journeys."
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