Architecture Photographer Shulman Dead at 98

By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff

Posted Jul 16, 2009 4:20 PM CDT

(Newser) – Architectural photographer Julius Shulman has died at the age of 98, the Los Angeles Times reports. In a career spanning two-thirds of the 20th century, Shulman became the premier photographer of modernist architecture and worked with the likes of Frank Lloyd Wright and Eero Saarinen. But his most famous shot is a photo of Pierre Koenig's Case Study House #22 in LA, which one critic called “one of those singular images that sum up an entire city at a moment in time.”

A chance 1936 visit to a Richard Neutra-designed house in LA—and the photos he took—changed his life. “I had never seen a modern house before,” he said. It “intrigued me with its strange forms—beyond any previous identity of a house in my experience.” Nothing was ever so spontaneous again, and he was accused of over-producing his photos, but he didn't mind. “I sell architecture better and more directly and more vividly than the architect does.”

Julius Shulman watches as one of his photographs is auctioned in 2005.
Julius Shulman watches as one of his photographs is auctioned in 2005.   (Getty Images)
Julius Shulman in 2009.
Julius Shulman in 2009.   (Getty Images)
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I was lucky to be doing the right thing at the right place at the right time. So any time anybody wanted a photograph of a modern house, Uncle Julius provided the picture. - Julius Shulman

He has a sense of visual bravura of composition, so that he can take a rather mundane house and make it look exciting, and take a spectacular house and make it look triply spectacular. - Robert Sobieszek, late photography curator at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art

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