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Julius Shulman: Modernity and the Metropolis

April 1, 2006 - July 30, 2006

Richard Neutra’s Chuey Residence, 1960.
© Julius Shulman
Julius Shulman is renowned for some of the most iconic photographs in architectural history. Whether photographing a skyscraper, house, or gas station, Shulman’s compositional artistry and technical precision present a structure in its most engaging, heroic light. Transcending mere documentation of steel and glass, Shulman’s images seem to reveal the essence of an architect’s vision and capture the spirit of the eras in which they were produced.Julius Shulman, Modernity and the Metropolis honors Julius Shulman’s 95th birthday (born October 10, 1910) and his life’s work. Shulman’s passion, innovative methods, and unwavering business acumen propelled a prodigious career. For 70 years, he steadily created one of the most comprehensive visual chronologies of modern architecture and the development of the Los Angeles region, photographing architecture by Richard Neutra, Pierre Koenig, and Frank Lloyd Wright, to name a few, plus gas stations, movie palaces, and bustling markets of the region.

The 83 original prints in the exhibition are selected from a portfolio of more than 70,000 images recently acquired by the Getty Research Institute, and provide multiple narratives of the changing aesthetics, technologies, and lifestyles framed by Shulman’s lens.

Julius Shulman, Modernity and the Metropolis has been organized by the Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles.


At the National Building Museum, the exhibition is presented in partnership with The Octagon, the Museum of the American Architectural Foundation, and is made possible by the Museum’s F. Stuart Fitzpatrick Memorial Exhibition Fund.