Julius Shulman and Mid Century Modern Architecture

Last night I watched an amazing documentary about the photographer Julius Shulman who shot the ground breaking designs of architects working in Los Angeles from the 1940’s to the 1960’s. He documented the case study houses, which were designs offered to the public of Los Angeles as a low cost modern alternative to the lack of post war housing. Many of these houses were built in the canyons of Los Angeles, on pieces of land that many would have previously dismissed for their precarious position. This challenged the architects and many of the designs were born from this difficulty.

Other architects who were not involved in the case study programme such as John Lautner and R.M Schindler were also designing ground breaking properties and Shulman captured it all, in his inimitable style.

What we now accept as modern architecture, was really breaking the mould back in the mid 20th Century and these radical buildings are still being used as templates for modern living today.

Watching the documentary was a fantastic insight into this piece of architectural history and also into the working life of Shulman throughout his long career. I highly recommend anyone interested in photography or design to watch this film and be inspired by Shulman’s continuing enthusiasm for his work and life at the ripe old age of 92! Sadly he is no longer with us but his beautiful images continue to capture our imagination and inspire us.

One of Shulman’s most iconic images which captured the imagination of Los Angeles residents

The documentary narrated by Dustin Hoffman should not be missed

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