Shulman, Julius, (1910-2009), Photographer of Los Angeles, California.
Throughout his long career, which began in the 1930s and ended with his death in 2009, photographer Julius Shulman created one of the most comprehensive visual chronologies of modern architecture and the development of the Los Angeles region. While he produced product and furniture photographs for designers, he is most acclaimed for his iconic images of mid-century modern buildings including the Case Study houses of Southern California.
Shulman was born October 10, 1910 in Brooklyn, New York, and moved to Los Angeles, California in 1920. Throughout the 1930s, Shulman photographed historical locations in Los Angeles, and his real break occurred in 1936, when he photographed architect Richard J. Neutra's Kun House (Los Angeles, Calif.). He was subsequently asked by Neutra to photograph some of his other projects. Through his relationship with Neutra he was able to secure other architectural photography commissions, documenting the work of architects as R. M. Schindler, Raphael Soriano, Gregory Ain, J.R. Davidson, John Lautner and Pierre Koenig as well as many others. While he also shot product and furniture photographs for designers, he is most acclaimed for his iconic images of mid-century modern buildings including the Case Study houses of Southern California. Shulman's photographs have been widely published, and he has produced several monographs about his work, including: Photography of Architecture and Design: Photographing Buildings, Interiors, and the Visual Arts (1977), Architecture and its Photography (1998), Photographing Architecture and Interiors (2000), and Malibu: A Century of Living by the Sea (2005).
Over the years Shulman became known as a strong proponent of modernist architecture and his photographs trained the spotlight on the architects whose work he featured. He received the American Institute of Architects (AIA) Architectural Photography Medal in 1969 and was made an honorary member of the AIA in 1987. In 1987 the L.A. Cultural Heritage Commission designated Shulman's Hollywood Hills home as a monument because it is the last unaltered steel-frame structure designed by Soriano. After a brief retirement in 1986, Shulman returned to work as a photographer and accepted assignments well into the 21st century. Julius Shulman died in his home at the age of 98 on July 15, 2009.