Julius Shulman was an architectural photographer whose work has captured the imagination of architects, designers and artists. Noted for his ability to document the essence of architectural structures through intuitive compositions, his prolific body of work shone a light on the likes of Frank Lloyd Wright, Pierre Koenig, Charles and Ray Eames, Richard Neutra, Rudolph Schindler, Albert Frey, Raphael Soriano, and more.
Schulman’s archive of over 250,000 negatives and prints is considered a comprehensive document of Californian modernism and as a record of interior design and fashion. “Unlike most architectural photography until then, some of Shulman’s best photographs featured ‘real’ human beings,” explains publisher Benedikt Taschen.
Yet his work was not simply restricted to the west coast and the habitats of the wealthy residents of Palm Springs. His career took him to the American Midwest, Mexico, Israel, and Hong Kong among other places.
The work of the now-famed Charles and Ray Eames and close friend Richard Neutra might never have attained the same widespread attention and influential reach that exposure to Shulman’s photographic flair and the proliferation of his work in the media afforded. “By the 1950s and 60s Shulman’s images dominated the pages of magazines, playing a pivotal role in the promotion of modernism as an architectural style through mass-market magazines,” explains Philip J. Ethington, professor of history and political science at University of Southern California.
Julius Schulman’s immense archive has been collected in a three volume tome by Taschen in Modernism Rediscovered, accompanied by critical discourse on the architecture and architects behind the pieces, as well as personal notes from the late photographer himself.