Modernism Rediscovered by Julius Shulman

frey residence julius shulman

Frey Residence I by Albert Frey, Palm Springs, California, 1956. Photograph: Julius Shulman. © J.Paul Getty Trust.

California’s mid-century modern architecture is among some of the most iconic from the 20th century. Characterised by clean, graphic lines, open areas and light spaces, this style of architecture was a new and innovative departure from that which preceded it and is still incredibly influential today.

The person regarded as being the first to bring these buildings to light is Brooklyn-born architectural photographer Julius Shulman. He introduced the mid-century modern movement that was dominating California to the rest of the world at an age before the internet and mass global media, showcasing these buildings as a work of an art rather than purely bricks and mortar.

Throughout his career, Shulman captured the iconic structures of Frank Lloyd Wright, Pierre Koenig and Charles Eames, with his style of photography continuously having an added human element that gives an insight into how these buildings were lived in and became a part of everyday life.

Modernism Rediscovered is a three-volume tome by Taschen, featuring more than 400 architectural buildings, all from Julius Shulman’s extensive archives. Ranging from California and across the U.S., to Mexico, Israel and Hong Kong, the volumes explore how modernism grew in popularity around the world, reinterpreted in different locations and for different landscapes.

lever house julius shulman

View of the Lever House by Gordon Bunshaft of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (viewed through the colonnade of Philip Johnson’s Seagram Building), New York, New York, 1959. Photograph: Julius Shulman. © J.Paul Getty Trust.

north shore yacht club julius shulman

North Shore Yacht Club by Frey & Chambers, Salton Sea, California, 1960. Photograph: Julius Shulman. © J.Paul Getty Trust.

modernism rediscovered julius shulman

Julius Shulman Modernism Rediscovered, published by Taschen

Words by Angharad Jones. Images courtesy of Taschen

Sarah Atkinson

Sarah Atkinson

Writer and expert