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Julius Shulman Known as 'Most Important Architectural Photographer in History'

Julius Shulman, shown in 2003, displays his workhorse camera, a 30-year-old Nikkormat, at his home in Los Angeles. Shulman's luminous photographs of homes and buildings made him a household name in the architectural world.
Julius Shulman, shown in 2003, displays his workhorse camera, a 30-year-old Nikkormat, at his home in Los Angeles. Shulman's luminous photographs of homes and buildings made him a household name in the architectural world. (By Damian Dovarganes -- Associated Press)

Julius Shulman was born Oct. 10, 1910, in Brooklyn, N.Y., and grew up on a farm in Connecticut, where he said he developed a love of nature and learned about light and shadows.

When he was 10, his family moved to Los Angeles and opened a dry-goods store. His father died of tuberculosis in 1923, leaving his mother with five children and the business.

Mr. Shulman took a photography class in high school, his only training in the field. He spent the next several years earning his rent money by taking photos with an Eastman Kodak box camera. One picture of a bridge won first place in a national magazine contest.

It was a casual meeting with architect Richard Neutra in 1936 that launched his career.

Over the years, his other renowned architectural clients included Frank Lloyd Wright, Rudolf M. Schindler, Gregory Ain, Charles Eames, Raphael S. Soriano, John Lautner and Eero Saarinen. Mr. Shulman's Hollywood Hills house, designed by Soriano, was recognized as an official landmark in 1987 by the Los Angeles Cultural Heritage Commission as the architect's only remaining unaltered steel-frame structure.

Mr. Shulman's first wife, Emma Shulman, died in 1973, and his second wife, Olga Shulman, died in 1999.

Survivors include a daughter from his first marriage and a grandson.


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