Blue Earth
Glazer's Camera

Julius Shulman, 1910-2009


Julius Shulman, the architectural photographer known for his commercial images of modernist buildings in California, died of natural causes on July 15 in Los Angeles. He was 98.

Born on a farm in Connecticut, Shulman only dabbled in photography until he was 25, when he began taking pictures of buildings for architect Richard Neutra.

Through Neutra, Shulman met and worked for other industry architects, such as Raphael Soriano, Rudolf M. Schindler, Gregory Aim, J.R. Davidson, Charles Eames, Frank Gehry and Frank Lloyd Wright.

Noted for saying that the secret to his success was his ability "to look into the house, X-ray-style, from the outdoors," Shulman's images often featured not just the buildings but also the environments and people surrounding them.

Shulman worked until 1990, when he retired from photography and focused on print sales instead. In 1998 he published "Julius Shulman: Architecture and Photography," in which he defined an architecture photographer's role: "To present the results of an architect's design efforts to the world."

In retirement, Shulman also collaborated with photographer Juergen Nogai to publish "Malibu: A Century of Living by the Sea."Over the course of his career, Shulman created more than 260,000 prints, negatives, transparencies and other images documenting over 7,000 architectural projects. The J. Paul Getty Museum acquired Shulman's archive in 2005.

Shulman's first wife, Emma, died in 1973, and his second, Olga, died in 1999. He is survived by his daughter and grandson.