Scope and Content of Collection
Title: Julius Shulman Photography Archive
Date (inclusive): 1935-2009
537 Linear Feet
The Getty Research Institute
1200 Getty Center Drive, Suite 1100
Los Angeles 90049-1688
Representing Julius Shulman's career as
an architectural photographer from 1935 to 2009, the archive documents the modern movement
in architecture spanning 60 years and serves as a historical record of the Southern
California landscape. The archive comprises 537 linear feet and contains more than 260,000
of Shulman's vintage and modern photographs, contact prints, negatives, transparencies,
clippings, and indices.
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Throughout his long career, photographer Julius Shulman created one of the most
comprehensive visual chronologies of modern architecture and the development of the Los
Angeles region. Shulman was born October 10, 1910 in Brooklyn, New York, and moved to Los
Angeles, California in 1920. Throughout the 1930s Shulman used an Eastman Kodak Vest-Pocket
camera to photograph historical locations in Los Angeles. In 1936 he photographed Richard J.
Neutra's Kun House (Los Angeles, Calif.) and was subsequently asked by Neutra to photograph
some of his other projects. Through his relationship with Neutra he was able to secure other
architectural photography commissions, documenting the work of such prolific architects as
R.M. Schindler, Raphael Soriano, Gregory Ain, J.R. Davidson, John Lautner and Pierre Koenig,
as well as many others. Shulman frequently worked with such writers and editors as Esther
[Tobey] McCoy, John Entenza, Dan MacMasters, and Barbara Lenox. While he also produced
product and furniture photographs for designers, he is most acclaimed for his iconic images
of mid-century modern buildings including the Case Study houses of Southern California.
Shulman's photographs have been widely published, and he produced several monographs about
his work, including:
Photography of Architecture and Design: Photographing Buildings,
Interiors, and the Visual Arts
Architecture and its
Photographing Architecture and Interiors
Malibu: A Century of Living by the Sea (2005). Over the years
Shulman became known as a strong proponent of modernist architecture and his photographs
trained the spotlight on the architects whose work he featured. He received the American
Institute of Architects Architectural Photography Medal in 1969 and was made an honorary
member of the American Institute of Architects in 1987. After a brief retirement in 1986,
Shulman returned to work as a photographer and accepted assignments well into the 21st
century. Julius Shulman died in his home at the age of 98 on July 15, 2009.
Open for use by qualified researchers.
Julius Shulman photography archive, 1935-2009, Research Library, Getty Research Institute,
Accession no. 2004.R.10.
The main archive (2004.R.10) was acquired from Julius Shulman and his daughter Judy McKee
in 2004. Approximately 290 additional items (2011.R.2) were acquired in 2011 as a gift of
Ruth Wallach on behalf of the USC Libraries.
Irene Lotspeich-Phillips registered the base collection and Lora Chin registered additional
accretions. Laura Schroffel, Holly Larson, Phil Curtis, Alexis Adkins, Chris Alexander, and
Aimee Lind processed the collection. Under the supervision of Jocelyn Gibbs and Andra
Darlington, Laura Schroffel cataloged the collection, with Holly Larson's help on Series IV.
The arrangement was devised by Jocelyn Gibbs based on Shulman's original order.
In 2011, Teresa Soleau added to the finding aid approximately 290 photographs acquired and
housed separately (accession number 2011.R.2).
Also in 2011 Laura Schroffel processed and cataloged additions to the collection (boxes
1046-1164) consisting primarily of clippings and color slides. Container descriptions have
been integrated into the finding aid.
Selected photographs have been digitized and are available online:
. Series II and Series III were digitized in
2010 with support from ARTstor. Series IV was digitized in 2012-2013 with support from the
National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC).
Scope and Content of Collection
The Julius Shulman Photography Archive documents Shulman's career as an architectural
photographer from 1935 to 2009. The collection contains 537 linear feet (more than 260,000
negatives, prints, transparencies and related printed material) of vintage and modern
photographs, contact prints, negatives, transparencies, color slides, clippings, papers and
indices. The material was generated and collected by Shulman.
Series I contains indices organized numerically by job number and shoot date,
alphabetically by architect, or alphabetically by client. The series also includes wall
calendars maintained and annotated by Shulman as well as diaries.
The bulk of the archive documents the modern movement in architecture spanning 60 years and
serves as a historical record of the Southern California landscape. Shulman's photography
highlights the important relationship between architect and photographer through his strong
grasp of design philosophy and his aesthetic sensibility. Series II. Architects, is rich in
the projects by California-based architects such as Richard J. Neutra, R.M. Schindler,
Raphael Soriano, Gregory Ain, J.R. Davidson, John Lautner and Pierre Koenig. The architects
in series II. were intensively documented by Shulman and were separated out from his other
projects for ease of access. Particularly noteworthy in this sereis are the photographs of
Richard J. Neutra's Kaufmann House (Palm Springs, Calif.) or John Lautner's Chemosphere (Los
Series III. Projects includes documentaion of the Case Study House Program, sponsored by
Arts and Architecture and John Entenza. Particulalry note worthy in thise
series is Pierre Koenig's Case Study House No. 22 (Los Angeles, Calif.). Also included are
photographs relating to the publication
Courtyard Housing in Los Angeles
(1992) as well as photographs for the American Institute of Architecture's Cultural Heritage
Board Committee for the City of Los Angeles.
Series IV. Job Numbers, makes up an extensive portion of the archive documenting projects
by lesser-known architects as well as major commercial firms in Southern California (Welton
Becket, Victor Gruen, and others). While the bulk of the collection documents architectural
projects, also included are product and furniture photographs for designers and other
photographs relating to commercial products such as those produced by the United States
Gypsum Co. and the Libbey Owens Ford Glass Company. The bulk of the archive reflects
Shulman's preference for the dramatic contrast and depth of black and white film. He also
was one of few architectural photographers to use infrared film.
Series V. Display photographs is comprised of large format prints mounted on board or foam
core. The display photographs were used by Shulman for exhibiting and publicity
The collection is comprised primarily of photographic materials and may contain black and
white 8x10 prints, 4x5 black-and-white contact prints, 4x5 black and white negatives, 4x5
color transparencies, 4x5 color negatives. Other photographic formats include 8x10 color
photographs, 4x5 color contact prints, color transparencies, 8x10 black and white negatives,
Polaroids and slides. Some 8x10 transparencies exist; in most instances these are
enlargements of existing 4x5 transparencies. Not all jobs have color photography.
Papers includes correspondence, invoices, clippings from publications, media relating to
architects whom Shulman worked with or projects that Shulman worked on, exhibition
materials, print request documentation, printing notes for photography and sometimes
Two boxes containing approximately 290 additional items (previous hit 2011.R.2 next hit)
were acquired in 2011 as a gift of Ruth Wallach on behalf of the USC Libraries.
Organized in five series: Series I. Indices; Series II. Architects; Series III. Projects;
Series IV. Job numbers; Series V. Display photographs.
Subjects - Names
Newsom, Joseph C.
Neutra, Richard Joseph, 1892-1970
Rosenheim, Alfred F., (Alfred Faist), 1859-1943
Saarinen, Eero, 1910-1961
Rodia, Simon, 1879-1965
Lee, S. Charles
Koenig, Pierre, 1925-2004
Lautner, John, 1911-1994
Soriano , Raphael, 1904-1988
Williams, Stewart, 1909-2005
Schindler, R. M., (Rudolph M.)
Smith, Whitney Rowland
Wright, Frank Lloyd, 1867-1959
Wright, Lloyd, 1890-1978
Wurster, William Wilson
Clark, John Porter
Abell, Thorton M.
Ain, Gregory, 1908-
Kesling, William, d. 1983
Goodhue, Bertram Grosvenor, 1869-1924
Grossman, Greta Magnusson, 1906-1999
Frey, Albert, 1903-1998
Davidson, Julius Ralph, b. 1889
Subjects - Corporate Bodies
Palm Springs Desert
Museo Rufino Tamayo
Racquet Club (Palm Springs,
Los Angeles (Calif.). Department of
Water and Power
Miller House (Palm Springs, Calif.)
Morgan, Walls &
Los Angeles City Hall (Los Angeles, Calif.)
Wayfarers Chapel (Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif.)
Taliesin West (Scottsdale, Ariz.)
Solomon R. Guggenheim
Williams, Williams and Williams
Williams, Clark & Williams.
Williams and Williams.
Shulman House (Los Angeles, Calif.)
Schindler House (Los Angeles,
Smith, Powell and Morgridge
Smith & Williams
Simon Rodia's Towers (Los Angeles,
Wurster, Bernardi, and
Clark & Frey
Clark, Frey & Chambers
Bullock's Wilshire (Department
California Club (Los Angeles,
Case Study House No. 9 (Los Angeles, Calif.)
Chinese Theatre (Los Angeles,
Angels Flight (Railway)
Beverly Hills Hotel
Buff & Hensman
Buff, Straub and Hensman
Albert C. Martin and
Kaufmann Desert House (Palm Springs, Calif.)
Hollyhock House (Hollywood, Los
Killingsworth, Brady, Smith and Associates
Hale House (Los Angeles, Calif.)
Freeman House (Hollywood, Los
Frey & Chambers
Eames House (Los Angeles, Calif.)
Subjects - Topics
International style (Architecture) -- California -- Case
Courtyard houses -- California -- Los Angeles
Housing, Single family -- California -- Case studies
Courtyards -- California -- Los Angeles
Architecture -- California -- Los Angeles -- 20th century
Architecture, Modern -- 20th century
Architect-designed houses -- California
Los Angeles (Calif.). Cultural Heritage Board
Architecture, Domestic -- California -- Case studies
Modern movement (Architecture) -- California
Modern movement (Architecture) -- United States -- Case
Subjects - Places
Los Angeles (Calif.) -- Buildings, structures, etc.
Genres and Forms of Material