Scope and Content of Collection
Title: Julius Shulman photography archive
Date (inclusive): 1935-2009
537.0 linear feet
(over 260,000 negatives, prints, transparencies and related printed material)
The Getty Research Institute
1200 Getty Center Drive, Suite 1100
Los Angeles, California, 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 of Shulman's vintage and modern photographs, contact prints, negatives, transparencies, clippings,
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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 (1977),
Architecture and its Photography (1998),
Photographing Architecture and Interiors (2000), and
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 was acquired from Julius Shulman and his daughter Judy McKee in 2004. Approximately 290 additional items
were acquired in 2011 from the University of Southern California.
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
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 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 Angeles, Calif.).
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 purposes.
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
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 architectural plans.
Organized in five series: Series I. Indices; Series II. Architects; Series III. Projects; Series IV. Job numbers; Series V.
Subjects - Names
Abell, Thorton M.
Ain, Gregory, 1908-
Clark, John Porter
Davidson, Julius Ralph, b. 1889
Frey, Albert, 1903-1998
Goodhue, Bertram Grosvenor, 1869-1924
Grossman, Greta Magnusson, 1906-1999
Kesling, William, d. 1983
Koenig, Pierre, 1925-2004
Lautner, John, 1911-1994
Lee, S. Charles
Neutra, Richard Joseph, 1892-1970
Newsom, Joseph C.
Rodia, Simon, 1879-1965
Rosenheim, Alfred F., (Alfred Faist), 1859-1943
Saarinen, Eero, 1910-1961
Schindler, R. M., (Rudolph M.)
Smith, Whitney Rowland
Soriano , Raphael, 1904-1988
Williams, Stewart, 1909-2005
Wright, Frank Lloyd, 1867-1959
Wright, Lloyd, 1890-1978
Wurster, William Wilson
Subjects - Corporate Bodies
Albert C. Martin and Associates
Angels Flight (Railway)
Beverly Hills Hotel
Buff & Hensman
Buff, Straub and Hensman
Bullock's Wilshire (Department store)
California Club (Los Angeles, Calif.)
Case Study House No. 9 (Los Angeles, Calif.)
Chinese Theatre (Los Angeles, Calif.)
Clark & Frey
Clark, Frey & Chambers
Eames House (Los Angeles, Calif.)
Freeman House (Hollywood, Los Angeles, Calif.)
Frey & Chambers
Hale House (Los Angeles, Calif.)
Hollyhock House (Hollywood, Los Angeles, Calif.)
Kaufmann Desert House (Palm Springs, Calif.)
Killingsworth, Brady, Smith and Associates
Los Angeles (Calif.). Department of Water and Power
Los Angeles City Hall (Los Angeles, Calif.)
Miller House (Palm Springs, Calif.)
Morgan, Walls & Clements
Museo Rufino Tamayo
Palm Springs Desert Museum
Racquet Club (Palm Springs, Calif.)
Schindler House (Los Angeles, Calif.)
Shulman House (Los Angeles, Calif.)
Simon Rodia's Towers (Los Angeles, Calif.)
Smith & Williams
Smith, Powell and Morgridge
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum
Taliesin West (Scottsdale, Ariz.)
Wayfarers Chapel (Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif.)
Williams and Williams.
Williams, Clark & Williams.
Williams, Williams and Williams
Wurster, Bernardi, and Emmons
Subjects - Topics
Architecture, Domestic--California--Case studies
Architecture, Modern--20th century
Architecture--California--Los Angeles--20th century
Courtyard houses-- California--Los Angeles
Courtyards--California-- Los Angeles
Housing, Single family-- California--Case studies
International style (Architecture)--California--Case studies
Los Angeles (Calif.). Cultural Heritage Board
Modern movement (Architecture)--California
Modern movement (Architecture)--United States--Case studies
Subjects - Places
Los Angeles (Calif.)--Buildings, structures, etc.
Genres and Forms of Material