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  • 07.16.09

Julius Shulman, the World’s Greatest Architectural Photographer, Dies at 98

The legendary lenser is the subject of a beautiful new documentary that celebrates his over 70-year career.

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Just a few months shy of his 99th birthday, the photographer Julius Shulman, known for his iconic photos of modern homes and a glamorous post-war Los Angeles, died at home last night in L.A., the Los Angeles Times is reporting. Shulman’s respect for Modernist architecture, and his unique photographic compositions–as well as his spitfire personality–were legendary in the design community and celebrated around the world. Tapped at the young age of 26 to shoot for Richard Neutra, Shulman’s images arguably launched the careers of the period’s most famous architects: Rudolph Schindler, Pierre Koenig, John Lautner, Eero Saarinen, Charles and Ray Eames, and Raphael Soriano, who designed the house that Shulman had lived in for decades.

Shulman is also the subject of the recent film Visual Acoustics: The Modernism of Julius Shulman which is currently circling the globe in screenings. Narrated by Dustin Hoffman, the film portrays Shulman as the cultural thread lacing together the creative work of icons from Ed Ruscha to Tom Ford to Frank Gehry with his numerous contributions to architecture, photography, and the Modernist aesthetic. During the filming, Shulman’s archives were transported from his house to the Getty Museum, which we think is a perfect resting place for Shulman’s legacy: swooping white walls, filled with people, looking out over the glittering lattice of Los Angeles.

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About the author

Alissa is a design writer for publications like Fast Company, GOOD and Dwell who can most often be found in Los Angeles. She likes to walk, ride the bus, and eat gelato.

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