Friday, May 27, 2011

Julius Shulman: Desert Modern

It's a long weekend (yay!) and we are thinking of doing the following: 1)A day at the beach...eating sand, toes in the water, shell collecting, sand castle building and watching the boats, the birds and the sun sit on what looks like the edge of the earth. 2)A day at UCLA's jazz and reggae festival...listening to music on a blanket under the sun, watching Sabine dance and sampling eats from all over the world at the food booths. 3)An evening at the opening of the Julius Shulman: Desert Modern photography exhibit at the Fullerton Museum Center, where my little sister is the Cultural Arts & Events Manager.

Photographs by Julius Shulman via the Palm Springs Art Museum
and Ouno. Julius Shulman: Desert Modern is on display through July 17, 2011
at the Fullerton Museum Center.

Shulman (1910-2009) was an American architectural photographer who was best known for photographing the Midcentury indoor-outdoor architecture of Richard Neutra, John Lautner and Charles Eames, among others. He is also noted for his iconic images of work by Frank Lloyd Wright, Pierre Koenig and Albret Frey. His photographs are now housed at The Getty Center in Los Angeles.

When I was an editor at Architectural Digest, I interviewed Shulman for a story. I was specifically asking him about photographing the work of architect Richard Neutra, but somehow we strayed and started talking about the fact that he lived next door to John Cassavetes in Malibu. He explained that there was a hillside--covered with flowers that were fiery red and deep purple in color--and he loved photographing that brilliant hillside almost more than photographing iconic works of architecture. At some point during my conversation with this renown photographer, I used the word "shoot" instead of "photograph." When I did, he grew silent, heaved a disgusted sigh and replied, "Darling, we shoot deer or wild animals. We do NOT shoot buildings or works of art. We photograph them."

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