The Master of Modern

More discoveries from the Julius Shulman vaults

TASCHEN’s Modernism Rediscovered (2000) brought to light for the first time forgotten architectural masterpieces, drawn from photographer Julius Shulman’s personal archives. Paying tribute to residential and commercial buildings that had slipped from public view, Shulman`s stunning photographs uncovered a rarely seen side of California Modernism. This extensive, three-volume follow-up to that remarkable volume brings over 400 more architectural gems into the spotlight. Not just restricted to the West Coast this time, the images were taken all across the United States as well as in Mexico, Israel, and Hong Kong.

Each project and photograph in these volumes was personally selected from over 260,000 photographs over a two-year period by publisher Benedikt Taschen, who has enjoyed a close collaboration with the photographer since first publishing Julius Shulman: Architecture and Its Photography (1998). Augmenting the photographs are an introduction by photography critic Owen Edwards, an extensive biography by University of Southern California historian Philip J. Ethington, captions on decorative elements by Los Angeles Modern Auctions founder Peter Loughrey, biographies of key architects, and personal reflections from the photographer himself. Arts writer Hunter Drohojowska-Philp conducted months of interviews with Shulman to construct an informative and lively oral history and portrait of the times.

Julius Shulman’s photography was instrumental in crafting the image of the midcentury Southern California lifestyle across the United States and around the world. His work keenly identifies the distinctive structural, functional, and design elements of a building, in the context of both its natural surroundings and the people who occupy the spaces. This sensitivity, combined with his intuitive and brilliant sense of composition and timing, has earned him the reputation as a master of the genre. How fortunate we are that Shulman has once again opened his archives so that we may rediscover his photographs of the world’s hidden Modernist treasures.

Featured Architects and Designers:

  • William Beckett
  • Craig Ellwood
  •  Albert Frey
  • Frank Gehry
  • Bruce Goff
  • Herb Greene
  • Philip Johnson
  • Louis I. Kahn
  • Raymond Kappe
  • Pierre Koenig
  • John Lautner
  • Paul László
  • Le Corbusier
  • Charles Luckman
  • Oscar Niemeyer
  • Richard J. Neutra
  • William L. Pereira
  • Skidmore, Owings & Merrill
  • Raphael Soriano
  • Ludwig Mies van der Rohe
  • Welton Becket Associates
  • Frank Lloyd Wright
The artist:
American photographer Julius Shulman’s images of Californian architecture have burned themselves into the retina of the 20th century. A book on modern architecture without Shulman is inconceivable. Some of his architectural photographs, like the iconic shots of Frank Lloyd Wright’s or Pierre Koenig’s remarkable structures, have been published countless times. The brilliance of buildings like those by Charles Eames, as well as those of his close friend, Richard Neutra, was first brought to light by Shulman’s photography. The clarity of his work demanded that architectural photography had to be considered as an independent art form. Each Shulman image unites perception and understanding for the buildings and their place in the landscape. The precise compositions reveal not just the architectural ideas behind a building’s surface, but also the visions and hopes of an entire age. A sense of humanity is always present in his work, even when the human figure is absent from the actual photographs. Today, a great many of the buildings documented by Shulman have disappeared or been crudely converted, but the thirst for his pioneering images is stronger than ever before.

The authors:
Hunter Drohojowska-Philp writes about modern art, design and architecture. She is a regular contributor to Artnews, Artnet, Western Interiors and Design, and the Los Angeles Times and the author of Full Bloom: The Art and Life of Georgia O'Keeffe.

Owen Edwards has written about photography for 30 years for numerous publications including American Photographer, New York Times Magazine, and Smithsonian.

Philip J. Ethington is Professor of History and Political Science at the University of Southern California and North American Editor of the journal Urban History. He is currently completing a large-format graphic book and online publication called Ghost Metropolis, Los Angeles, 1542–2001.

Peter Loughrey is director of Los Angeles Modern Auctions (LAMA) specializing in 20th Century Design by architects.
Julius Shulman. Modernism Rediscovered (XL-Format)

Julius Shulman. Modernism Rediscovered

Julius Shulman, , , ,
Hardcover, 3 vols. in slipcase, 11.4 x 14.5 in., 1008 pages
$ 300
Multilingual Edition: English, French, German
Availability: In Stock
  • Reviews
"Shulman photographs are the most beautiful fairy tales in the history of modernism."
— Süddeutsche Zeitung, München, Germany
  • Videos
Julius Shulman
Benedikt Taschen & Julius Shulman on "Modernism Rediscovered". September 2007