Thursday, May 24, 2012

Photography and Mid-Century Architecture


If you know me or have ever been to my home, you are well aware of my love of architecture and mid-century modern furniture. You could say I was "Born" with this obsession, which ranks right up there with my love of all  things mechanical combined with speed. I will save that for another blog at a later time.

My fascination with  mid-century architecture, includes my collection of books that focus on the essence of  the iconic architecture which makes up the skyline of Los Angeles.

In my newest and most favorite book (at this time) is "Julius Shulman Los Angeles: The Birth of a Modern Metropolis"- by Sam Lubell and Douglas Woods

 The book features the photographic work of Shulman, who was a renowned architectural photographer. It highlights four decades' worth of images of the city he loved, celebrated, and made iconic. Starting with Richard Neutra in 1936, Shulman's roster of clients read like a who's who of pioneering contemporary architecture: Rudolf M. Schindler, Gregory Ain, Frank Lloyd Wright, A.C. Martin, Charles Eames, Raphael S. Soriano, John Lautner, Eero Saarinen, Albert Frey, Pierre Koenig, Harwell Harris and many others. His work was contained in virtually every book published on modernist architects.

I enjoyed the way in which Sam Lubell describes Shulman's work and how he captured the essence of the enormous change in mid-century California Architecture.

Sam Lubell wrote:"Architecture which rejected the heaviness and constructiveness of masonry and brick in favor of steel, concrete and glass- a purity,lightness and expressiveness that matched the landscape and the unburdened visionary nature of Los Angeles."

"Many of Schulman's modernist subjects became international icons whose legacies still impact the architectural  world. These include Neutra's exquisitely composed and sited Kaufman house
1946); Pierre Koenig's era -defining,gravity defining Case Study House No. 22 (1960); Lautner's spaceship-like Chemosphere (1960) and and A. C. Martin's elegant, and skyline -altering, L.A Department of Water and Power (1965)."

Most of you will recognize the images of many of the iconic buildings and homes in Southern California, due to Shulman's incredible photos.The man was truly a genius behind the lens.