Scope and Content of Collection
Title: Julius Shulman Photography Archive
Date (inclusive): 1935-2009
537.0 linear feet
The Getty Research Institute
1200 Getty Center Drive, Suite 1100
Los Angeles, California, 90049-1688
Representing Julius Shulman's career as an
architectural photographer from 1935 to 2009, the archive documents the modern
movement in architecture spanning 60 years and serves as a historical record of the
Southern California landscape. The archive comprises 537 linear feet and contains
more than 260,000 of Shulman's vintage and modern photographs, contact prints,
negatives, transparencies, clippings, and indices.
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Throughout his long career, photographer Julius Shulman created one of the most
comprehensive visual chronologies of modern architecture and the development of the
Los Angeles region. Shulman was born October 10, 1910 in Brooklyn, New York, and
moved to Los Angeles, California in 1920. Throughout the 1930s Shulman used an
Eastman Kodak Vest-Pocket camera to photograph historical locations in Los Angeles.
In 1936 he photographed Richard J. Neutra's Kun House (Los Angeles, Calif.) and 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 such prolific architects as R.M. Schindler,
Raphael Soriano, Gregory Ain, J.R. Davidson, John Lautner and Pierre Koenig, as well
as many others. Shulman frequently worked with such writers and editors as Esther
[Tobey] McCoy, John Entenza, Dan MacMasters, and Barbara Lenox. While he also
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
Shulman's photographs have been widely published, and he produced several monographs
about his work, including:
Photography of Architecture and Design:
Photographing Buildings, Interiors, and the Visual Arts
Architecture and its Photography (1998),
Architecture and Interiors
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 Architectural Photography Medal in 1969 and was made an honorary member
of the American Institute of Architects in 1987. 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.
Open for use by qualified researchers.
Julius Shulman photography archive, 1935-2009, Research Library, Getty Research
Institute, Accession no. 2004.R.10.
The main archive (2004.R.10) was acquired from Julius Shulman and his daughter Judy
McKee in 2004. Approximately 290 additional items (2011.R.2) were acquired in 2011
as a gift of Ruth Wallach on behalf of the USC Libraries.
Irene Lotspeich-Phillips registered the base collection and Lora Chin registered
additional accretions. Laura Schroffel, Holly Larson, Phil Curtis, Alexis Adkins,
Chris Alexander, and Aimee Lind processed the collection. Under the supervision of
Jocelyn Gibbs and Andra Darlington, Laura Schroffel cataloged the collection, with
Holly Larson's help on Series IV. The arrangement was devised by Jocelyn Gibbs based
on Shulman's original order.
In 2011, Teresa Soleau added to the finding aid approximately 290 photographs
acquired and housed separately (accession number 2011.R.2).
Also in 2011 Laura Schroffel processed and cataloged additions to the collection
(boxes 1046-1164) consisting primarily of clippings and color slides. Container
descriptions have been integrated into the finding aid.
Selected photographs have been digitized and are available online:
. Series II and Series III were
digitized in 2010 with support from ARTstor. Series IV was digitized in 2012-2013
with support from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission
Scope and Content of Collection
The Julius Shulman Photography Archive documents Shulman's career as an architectural
photographer from 1935 to 2009. The collection contains 537 linear feet (more than
260,000 negatives, prints, transparencies and related printed material) of vintage
and modern photographs, contact prints, negatives, transparencies, color slides,
clippings, papers and indices. The material was generated and collected by
Series I contains indices organized numerically by job number and shoot date,
alphabetically by architect, or alphabetically by client. The series also includes
wall calendars maintained and annotated by Shulman as well as diaries.
The bulk of the archive documents the modern movement in architecture spanning 60
years and serves as a historical record of the Southern California landscape.
Shulman's photography highlights the important relationship between architect and
photographer through his strong grasp of design philosophy and his aesthetic
sensibility. Series II. Architects, is rich in the projects by California-based
architects such as Richard J. Neutra, R.M. Schindler, Raphael Soriano, Gregory Ain,
J.R. Davidson, John Lautner and Pierre Koenig. The architects in series II. were
intensively documented by Shulman and were separated out from his other projects for
ease of access. Particularly noteworthy in this sereis are the photographs of
Richard J. Neutra's Kaufmann House (Palm Springs, Calif.) or John Lautner's
Chemosphere (Los Angeles, Calif.).
Series III. Projects includes documentaion of the Case Study House Program, sponsored
Arts and Architecture and John Entenza. Particulalry note worthy
in thise series is Pierre Koenig's Case Study House No. 22 (Los Angeles, Calif.).
Also included are photographs relating to the publication
in Los Angeles
(1992) as well as photographs for the American Institute
of Architecture's Cultural Heritage Board Committee for the City of Los Angeles.
Series IV. Job Numbers, makes up an extensive portion of the archive documenting
projects by lesser-known architects as well as major commercial firms in Southern
California (Welton Becket, Victor Gruen, and others). While the bulk of the
collection documents architectural projects, also included are product and furniture
photographs for designers and other photographs relating to commercial products such
as those produced by the United States Gypsum Co. and the Libbey Owens Ford Glass
Company. The bulk of the archive reflects Shulman's preference for the dramatic
contrast and depth of black and white film. He also was one of few architectural
photographers to use infrared film.
Series V. Display photographs is comprised of large format prints mounted on board or
foam core. The display photographs were used by Shulman for exhibiting and publicity
The collection is comprised primarily of photographic materials and may contain black
and white 8x10 prints, 4x5 black-and-white contact prints, 4x5 black and white
negatives, 4x5 color transparencies, 4x5 color negatives. Other photographic formats
include 8x10 color photographs, 4x5 color contact prints, color transparencies, 8x10
black and white negatives, Polaroids and slides. Some 8x10 transparencies exist; in
most instances these are enlargements of existing 4x5 transparencies. Not all jobs
have color photography.
Papers includes correspondence, invoices, clippings from publications, media relating
to architects whom Shulman worked with or projects that Shulman worked on,
exhibition materials, print request documentation, printing notes for photography
and sometimes architectural plans.
Two boxes containing approximately 290 additional items (previous hit 2011.R.2 next
hit) were acquired in 2011 as a gift of Ruth Wallach on behalf of the USC
Organized in five series: Series I. Indices; Series II. Architects; Series III.
Projects; Series IV. Job numbers; Series V. Display photographs.
Subjects - Names
Abell, Thorton M.
Ain, Gregory, 1908-
Clark, John Porter
Davidson, Julius Ralph, b. 1889
Frey, Albert, 1903-1998
Goodhue, Bertram Grosvenor, 1869-1924
Grossman, Greta Magnusson, 1906-1999
Kesling, William, d. 1983
Koenig, Pierre, 1925-2004
Lautner, John, 1911-1994
Lee, S. Charles
Neutra, Richard Joseph, 1892-1970
Newsom, Joseph C.
Rodia, Simon, 1879-1965
Rosenheim, Alfred F., (Alfred Faist), 1859-1943
Saarinen, Eero, 1910-1961
Schindler, R. M., (Rudolph M.)
Smith, Whitney Rowland
Soriano , Raphael, 1904-1988
Williams, Stewart, 1909-2005
Wright, Frank Lloyd, 1867-1959
Wright, Lloyd, 1890-1978
Wurster, William Wilson
Subjects - Corporate Bodies
Albert C. Martin and Associates
Angels Flight (Railway)
Beverly Hills Hotel
Buff & Hensman
Buff, Straub and Hensman
Bullock's Wilshire (Department store)
California Club (Los Angeles, Calif.)
Case Study House No. 9 (Los Angeles, Calif.)
Chinese Theatre (Los Angeles, Calif.)
Clark & Frey
Clark, Frey & Chambers
Eames House (Los Angeles, Calif.)
Freeman House (Hollywood, Los Angeles, Calif.)
Frey & Chambers
Hale House (Los Angeles, Calif.)
Hollyhock House (Hollywood, Los Angeles, Calif.)
Kaufmann Desert House (Palm Springs, Calif.)
Killingsworth, Brady, Smith and Associates
Los Angeles (Calif.). Department of Water and Power
Los Angeles City Hall (Los Angeles, Calif.)
Miller House (Palm Springs, Calif.)
Morgan, Walls & Clements
Museo Rufino Tamayo
Palm Springs Desert Museum
Racquet Club (Palm Springs, Calif.)
Schindler House (Los Angeles, Calif.)
Shulman House (Los Angeles, Calif.)
Simon Rodia's Towers (Los Angeles, Calif.)
Smith & Williams
Smith, Powell and Morgridge
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum
Taliesin West (Scottsdale, Ariz.)
Wayfarers Chapel (Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif.)
Williams and Williams.
Williams, Clark & Williams.
Williams, Williams and Williams
Wurster, Bernardi, and Emmons
Subjects - Topics
Architecture, Domestic--California--Case studies
Architecture, Modern--20th century
Architecture--California--Los Angeles--20th century
Courtyard houses-- California--Los Angeles
Courtyards--California-- Los Angeles
Housing, Single family-- California--Case studies
International style (Architecture)--California--Case
Los Angeles (Calif.). Cultural Heritage Board
Modern movement (Architecture)--California
Modern movement (Architecture)--United States--Case
Subjects - Places
Los Angeles (Calif.)--Buildings, structures, etc.
Genres and Forms of Material