In the footsteps of a photographer

A few of the many Los Angeles buildings photographed by Julius Shulman are open to the public. Shulman's architectural photos tell the story of the city's growth.

By Teresa at MSN Real Estate Apr 25, 2012 11:43AM

We talk a lot about architects but not much about the architectural photographers who help make their work famous.


One of the most influential architectural photographers was Julius Shulman, who photographed buildings (and nature) in Southern California from 1936 to 2009, documenting the growth of the area. He is the subject of a book published last year, "Julius Shulman Los Angeles: The Birth of a Modern Metropolis."


The book's co-author, Sam Lubell, recently wrote a story for The New York Times about several of the homes and monuments that Shulman photographed that are open for tours.

 He writes of Shulman's work:


"He was able to distill the character of a building’s surroundings, bringing the outside in and extending the inside out with his bold, wide angles, striking perspectives and diagonals that, as his gallerist Craig Krull once told me, 'suck you in.'"

Here are four places Shulman photographed that it's possible to visit (check out the Times' slide show of the places today):

  • Case Study House 22: This house in the Hollywood Hills neighborhood was the scene of one of Shulman's most famous photographs, that of two women looking down on Los Angeles from a house that stretches over the side of a cliff. You can see the photo here.
  • The Ray and Charles Eames house: This home in Pacific Palisades, Calif., was built in 1949 for the famous industrial designers and architects. You can see Shulman's photos of the home here.
  • Watts Towers: This famous Los Angeles landmark was created between 1925 and 1955 by an Italian immigrant laborer, who used a conglomeration of found objects to construct towers 100 feet high. You can see one of Shulman's photos here.
  • Hollyhock House: This house was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright between 1919 and 1923 for oil heiress Aline Barnsdall, and it was the first house Wright built in Los Angeles.

Lubell told Curbed last year that perhaps his favorite Shulman photograph was one taken from the roof of the El Cortez hotel in San Diego in 1957 (the second photo in this slide show):

But more than the individual elements and the great historical information, it's the sense of magic and possibility and the almost dreamlike quality of it all that makes this picture special. It's an architectural picture, but it's telling a story. That's what Julius' most successful pictures all did. At heart he was a storyteller more than anything.
Tags: celebrity
Aug 18, 2012 3:26PM
Sad to see the only comments are these loser scam dater people....trolling for whatever...Shulman is an icon...If people were still into art and architecture they would know this....step away from the computers, get out of your house and travel people!!! Get a book on photography!!! ugh...I weep for the future.
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