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Guide to the Julius Shulman Getty Villa photographs, 2006
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Administrative History
  • Biographical Note
  • Administrative Information
  • Related Archival Materials note
  • Scope and Content of Collection
  • Indexing Terms

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Getty Villa photographs
    Date (inclusive): 2006
    Number: IA20031
    Creator/Collector: Shulman, Julius
    Physical Description: 0.25 linear feet (1 box)
    The Getty Research Institute
    Institutional Records and Archives
    1200 Getty Center Drive, Suite 1100
    Los Angeles, California, 90049-1688
    (310) 440-7390
    Abstract: This collection comprises photographs by Julius Shulman and Jürgen Nogai of the expanded and renovated Getty Villa, taken during May and June, 2006. Forty-five (45) black and white and sixty-six (66) color 8 x 10 inch photographic prints constitute the main body of the collection. Duplicates of 29 of the color prints and the original 4 x 5 inch negatives for these prints are also included.
    Request Materials: To access physical materials at the Getty, go to the library catalog record  for this collection and click "Request an Item." Click here for general library access policy . See the Administrative Information section of this finding aid for access restrictions specific to the records described below. Please note, some of the records may be stored off site; advanced notice is required for access to these materials.
    Language: Collection material is in English

    Administrative History

    The Getty Villa operates as a museum and educational center dedicated to the study of the arts and cultures of ancient Greece, Rome, and Etruria. The Getty Villa was designed to house J. Paul Getty's art collection when it outgrew his Ranch House in Pacific Palisades, California, which had served as a private museum since 1954. After considering various options for expanding the Ranch House, Getty decided in the fall of 1968 to build a new museum on the same property, in the form of a first-century Roman country house, based primarily on the plans of the ancient Villa dei Papiri just outside of Herculaneum. The archaeologist Norman Neuerburg, who had studied the ruins of Herculaneum and was an authority on Roman domestic architecture, was retained as a consultant for the project. The Santa Monica architectural firm Langdon & Wilson was hired to design the Villa, and British architect Stephen Garrett, who had served as Getty’s consultant in the remodeling of a Getty home in Posillipo, Italy, was retained as overseer of the construction. Landscape architect Emmet Wemple designed the gardens, Garth Benton worked on the murals, and Bruce Ptolomy worked on the fountains. Construction began on December 21, 1970, and the new museum opened to the public on January 16, 1974, receiving negative and positive reviews.
    J. Paul Getty died in 1976 without ever seeing the museum he commissioned, but is buried at the Villa site on a bluff overlooking the ocean. After Getty's death and the establishment of the J. Paul Getty Trust, the Villa became part of a larger vision. As part of the J. Paul Getty Museum, the Villa is overseen by the J. Paul Getty Trust, an international cultural and philanthropic organization serving both general audiences and specialized professionals. The Trust is a not-for-profit institution, educational in purpose and character, that focuses on the visual arts in all of their dimensions. As of 2009 the Trust supports and oversees four programs: the Getty Research Institute; the Getty Foundation; the Getty Conservation Institute; and the J. Paul Getty Museum. Beginning in the 1980s the Trust developed an expansion plan that included the Getty Center campus in Brentwood and the renovation and expansion of the Villa in Malibu. When the Getty Center opened in 1997, the Villa closed to undergo extensive remodeling.
    The architectural firm of Machado and Silvetti Associates redesigned the Villa, adding galleries, skylights, an auditorium, an amphitheater, and new structures for conservation and administrative offices. Much of the original Villa was retained, including the wall murals, which artist Garth Benton returned to restore and refresh. The redesigned Villa opened on January 28, 2006, receiving high praise from reviewers. While most of the Museum's collections are housed at the Getty Center, the antiquities collection is housed at the Villa. The Getty Villa serves a varied audience through the permanent collection, changing exhibitions, conservation, scholarship, research, and public programs in an intimate setting overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Public and scholarly programs at the Villa include lectures, seminars, conferences, workshops, symposia, film series, musical concerts, and theatrical performances in the Barbara and Lawrence Fleischman Outdoor Classical Theater.

    Biographical Note

    Photographer Julius Shulman was renowned for his striking images of modern architecture. He was born October 10, 1910 in Brooklyn, New York, and moved to Los Angeles, California in 1920. Throughout the 1930s, Shulman photographed historical locations in Los Angeles, and his real break occurred in 1936, when he photographed architect Richard J. Neutra’s Kun House (Los Angeles, Calif.). He 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 architects as R.M. Schindler, Raphael Soriano, Gregory Ain, J.R. Davidson, John Lautner and Pierre Koenig as well as many others. While he also shot 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 has 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 (AIA) Architectural Photography Medal in 1969 and was made an honorary member of the AIA in 1987. In 1987 the L.A. Cultural Heritage Commission designated Shulman's Hollywood Hills home as a monument because it is the last unaltered steel-frame structure designed by Soriano. 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.

    Administrative Information

    Restrictions on Access

    The records described in accession 2007.IA.14 are available for use by qualified researchers.
    The following types of records are permanently closed: records containing personal information, records that compromise security or operations, legal communications, legal work product, and records related to donors. The J. Paul Getty Trust reserves the right to restrict access to any records held by the Institutional Archives.

    Publication Rights

    Preferred Citation

    [Cite the item and series (as appropriate)], Getty Villa photographs, Julius Shulman. Institutional Archives, Research Library, Getty Research Institute, Finding aid no. IA20031.

    Acquisition Information

    Accession 2007.IA.14, was originally transferred from the Communications Department to Getty Research Library, Special Collections, and then to the Institutional Archives.

    Processing History

    Photographs inventoried and finding aid written by Rebecca Fenning, June 2007. The finding aid was revised in 2009 by Cyndi Shein.

    Related Archival Materials note

    The following materials are offered as possible sources of further information on the people, programs, and subjects covered by the records. The listing is not exhaustive.
    Contributing Institution: Getty Research Library, Photo Study Collection

    Photographs of the J. Paul Getty Museum in Malibu, [1982?], Research Library, Getty Research Institute, Accession no. 2005.P.1.
    Contributing Institution: Getty Research Library, Special Collections

    Julius Shulman photography archive, 1936-1997, Research Library, Getty Research Institute, Accession no. 2004.R.10

    Scope and Content of Collection

    Photographs consist of 45 black and white and 66 color prints of the recently expanded and renovated Getty Villa in Malibu, taken by photographer Julius Shulman in May and June, 2006. Shulman previously photographed the Villa in the 1970s and 1980s and these 2006 photos constitute a valuable supplement to those earlier images. These pictures, taken on Tuesdays when the museum was closed, were commissioned by the Communications Department of the J. Paul Getty Trust.
    A partial set of 29 duplicates of the color prints are also included, as well as the original 4x5 negatives for those prints.
    The photographs were taken with the collaboration of Jürgen Nogai, a German photographer living in Santa Monica, and Shulman's collaborator since 2000.


    These records are organized in two series: Series I. Black and white photographs, 2006; Series II. Color photographs, 2006.

    Indexing Terms

    Subjects - Names

    Nogai, Jürgen
    Shulman, Julius

    Subjects - Corporate Bodies

    Getty Villa (Malibu, Calif.)

    Subjects - Topics

    Architectural photography
    Art museum architecture

    Genres and Forms of Material

    Black-and-white prints (photographs)
    Color photographs
    Photographic prints