Ezra Stoller

American (Chicago, Illinois, 1915 - 2004, Williamstown, Massachusetts)

Ezra Stoller photographed some of the twentieth century's most iconic buildings, including Ludwig Mies van der Rohe's Seagram Building, Frank Lloyd Wright's Falling Water, and Louis Kahn's Salk Institute. His pictures were recognized as fundamental contributions to architectural history in their own right. New York architect Philip Johnson once said that no modern building is complete until it has been "Stollerized," while critic Paul Goldberger wrote: "[Stoller's pictures] have in and of themselves played a major role in shaping the public's perception of what modern architecture is all about."

Stoller, a Chicago native and son of a union president in the garment industry, originally wanted to be an auto mechanic. A trade school course in mechanical drawing led him to study architecture at New York University, where he began his career by photographing buildings, models, and sculpture created by his fellow students. In 1940 Stoller worked with photographer Paul Strand. During World War II he taught photography at the Army Signal Corps Photo Center in New York City. Two decades later he founded Esto Photographics, an architectural photo agency now run by his daughter, Erica.

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.

This resource is for educational use and its contents may not be reproduced without permission. Please review our Terms of Use for more information.