Julius Shulman

American (Brooklyn, New York, 1910 - 2009, Los Angeles, California)

Although he was born into a thriving Russian immigrant community in Brooklyn, New York, architectural photographer Julius Shulman spent most of his formative years on a farm in Connecticut — where his parents pursued a quiet, rural life and Shulman developed an appreciation and understanding of the nature of light.

Shulman first studied photography in an elective high school art course. After dropping out of an engineering program at the University of California, Los Angeles, he developed his craft independently, auditing a variety of courses in Southern California and later, after moving north, at UC Berkeley. He soon began to specialize in architectural photography.

In 1936 he returned to Los Angeles and met architect Richard Neutra, who purchased six of his photos of Kun House. His best known subjects include houses by Rudolph Schindler, Frank Lloyd Wright, and Pierre Koenig. Shulman's photographs have become icons of mid-century Modernist architecture and helped to export the image of Southern California's healthy, relaxed lifestyle to the rest of the world.

From June 3, 2013, through early 2016, SFMOMA's building on Third Street in San Francisco will be temporarily closed for expansion construction. Selected artworks in our collection are included in a range of off-site exhibitions during this period. We regret that the remainder of the collection will not be available for study during this time.

In the meantime, we invite you to explore a wide selection of our collection online. Please note that the information presented online is subject to revision. Please contact us at collections@sfmoma.org to verify artwork details.

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