Friday, July 17, 2009

R.I.P. Julius Shulman; Photographer Chronicled Los Angeles' Mid-Century Rise

Famed photographer Julius Shulman, whose depiction of modern architecture -- mixed frequently with Los Angeles' post-war coming of age -- made him a superstar, died Wednesday night. He was 98.

Los Angeles magazine, which just ran a profile of him earlier this year written by Franklin Avenue pal Mary Melton, reported that Shulman died peacefully at his Laurel Canyon home.

“He led a charmed life right up to the end,” McKee told Melton.

Check out Mary's story here. An excerpt:

For magazines ranging from Sunset and House & Garden to Architectural Record and Dwell, Shulman has documented nearly 8,000 subjects over a 72-year career. His work, whether in black and white or Kodachrome color, isn’t just about composition and light. It is about lifestyle. He was the first architectural photographer to plant men, women, and children like props inside buildings. From the 1950s through the ’70s, editor Dan MacMasters of the Sunday Los Angeles Times Home Magazine fed Shulman’s images of beautiful people in beautiful Malibu homes directly into the minds of housewives flipping pancakes in Monrovia... Julius Shulman gave L.A. its history, its best self, and then exported its mythology to the world.

In 2008, the Los Angeles Public Library held an exhibit of Shulman's photography of Los Angeles; we wrote about it here.

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